Former soldier teaches people to grow food in Moss Bank Park

The Bolton News: Teri Gorton of Halliwell with a vegetable kebab. Teri Gorton of Halliwell with a vegetable kebab.

VOLUNTEERS at Moss Bank Park have been making enough food to feed an army — thanks in part to the work of an ex-soldier.

Alun Morris, who served as captain in the Territorial Army, is teaching former soldiers, sailors and RAF staff how to grow their own food as part of the Good to Grow project.

The project, which was set up by Mr Morris, is funded by the Military Community Covenant grant scheme, which supports local projects that help military personnel re-establish links within the community.

Mr Morris, a volunteer at Lancashire Wildlife Trust, holds weekly sessions at the Hive in Moss Bank Park where he teaches participants of all ages how to grow their own food.

He is assisted by fellow volunteer Charlotte Yates, who runs a cookery class where participants make a meal out of the food they grow.

Good to Grow is also aimed at families, people from low-income backgrounds and unemployed people wanting to learn new skills.

Mr Morris, aged 43, of Breightmet, said: “Some of these people have left home at 17 to serve in the military and may not have learnt how to grow and cook their own food.

“The military is a big community and once that community is broken up, people tend to get lost. These sessions are about getting people outside with others, learning new skills and building their self-confidence.

“We also want to help anyone out of work find employment.

“Resources are tight for a lot of people, but there are still ways of eating healthily.”

Mr Morris added: “We are looking to get more volunteers for this project ideally.

“Volunteers will ideally be from a military or MOD background or their families, and can be serving personnel or veterans.

“All training is given and new ideas and skills are also welcomed.”

Mr Morris left the Territorial Army in 2001 and then became a volunteer for Lancashire Wildlife Trust three years ago.

People who are unemployed or from an ex-military background and are interested in taking part in the sessions can contact Charlie Barlow on 01204 663754 or e-mail her cbarlow@lancswt.org.uk

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