Community allotment Sam’s Workplace is boosted by solar power

Kyle (left) and Sam, two of the people who use Sam's Workplace.
Kyle (left) and Sam, two of the people who use Sam's Workplace.

Solar power has improved a community allotment in Blidworth that provides work experience for adults with learning disabilities.

A grant of £1,070 has been awarded by energy supplier E.ON to install solar panels at Sam’s Workplace.

The panels will provide heat for the allotment’s polytunnels and power for other equipment, which should boost the amount of produce that is grown.

The funding should also help the learners to acquire a greater range of horticultural knowledge and skills.

Debbie Colledge, one of the founders of Sam’s Workplace, named after her son, in 2012, said: “Our users are particularly susceptible to the cold, so the heat we’ve now got in the polytunnels is making that experience of the allotment much more enjoyable.

“In time, we hope to be able to open the allotment to the local community too. We are grateful to E.ON, and its Energising Communities Fund, for helping us to complete the solar project.”

E.ON’s fund supports community groups, schools and charities to become more energy efficient and to save money on their heating bills. Since 2013, it has distributed £185,000 to more than 100 groups.

Community relations manager Suzanne Roe said: “Sam’s Workplace is a well-used community facility that we are pleased to support.

“The solar panels should make it more usable throughout the year, increasing the potential for more people to benefit.”