Where to start? What to say? As Ashbourne Road and District Allotment Association (ARDAA) again embark on a new and exciting project, we shout Welcome aboard to our friends and allies from G F Tomlinson and pupils from Horizons 6th Form with Sally Power from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)! What is this project all about? Well it is a ‘first’ for any allotment site in Derby City and is a unique community adventure working and creating together a set of 5 ‘Starter Plots’ on an unused and much neglected area of the Ashbourne Road and District Allotments site. A group of young people from Horizons 6th Form, supervised and supported by qualified construction staff from G F Tomlinson and Sally Power (DWP), will visit the site each week to learn about the construction industry. “Getting down and getting dirty”, the young people will learn the skills necessary to work in the building industry in a safe, supportive and comfortable learning environment on the allotment site. The young people and staff from G F Tomlinson will be giving their time and energy for free – albeit, in return will be supplied with a slice or two of homemade cake and warm drinks from the Potty Plotters at ARDAA! There is no getting away from the fact that the creation of the new plots will be hard work. Indeed, the people will be working outside at the coldest time of the year, but in return, will benefit from the experience of the true picture of what workers endure each day in the world of building and construction. What's happended so far? On Friday 14th December 2018, a group of volunteers from the ARDAA site welcomed some of the young people from Horizons 6th Form, together with staff and employees from GF Tomlinson. They were given a tour of the allotment site and had a taste of the homemade cake and agreed to begin the work on the project at the end of January 2019. Due to the poor state of the designated area for the new plots on the site, in December 2018, a small group of volunteers from the allotments began to clear the area and make it ready for the next stage of work. The large, old, rotten shed was demolished and the rubble and rubbish burned. The slabs and breeze blocks that were dug up off the plot have been stacked on one side ready for recycling and reusing within the project and the areas for the new plots have now been marked out. What's next? On Monday 13th January 2019, the ARDAA will be ready to welcome (with open arms), the pleasure of the company of the “Mac Men” with Dave Clarke (and their digger of course) from G F Tomlinson! They will further clear and level the raw ground of ‘Plot 11’ which, in the next few months will be known as, “The Ashbourne Road and District Allotment Association Starter Plots”. So - here’s to a ‘Happy New Year’ – and let’s hope it will be!