Amanda Solloway's plan for homeless to grow their own food

Amanda Solloway has put forward her City Growing Project where the community will work together to grow food. Those who cannot pay will get it for free and other people will receive items in return for a donation. 

Mrs Solloway said she wants Derby to be known as a "city of compassion" in 2017. She said: "I would hope there would also be provision for cooking, shower and storage facilities on site and her plan includes professional cookery lessons and gardening lessons, with the possibility of qualifications."

To help her realise the plan, she needs businesses or private individuals to come forward with offers of a site in or near the city centre for the allotment. Mrs Solloway said she aims to acquire the land over the next six months and for it to be prepared by the end of the year.

She then hopes to galvanise the community to provide materials and equipment and find volunteers to run the project. Mrs Solloway said: "I hope that the project will help all those who are vulnerable in our society but may also trigger a positive lifestyle change.

"Sometimes people decline in society due to mental health issues, loneliness, job loss or illness and seeing a light at the end of the tunnel can be hard. This project will endeavour to support and help all these issues."

Mrs Solloway, MP for Derby North, said she hoped cultivation on the allotment would start in 2018. She said: "I am already in dialogue with potential benefactors. We will also need a project leader who will be able to apply for grants.

"There will be a considerable financial cost to the project which will looked to be covered by grants, fund-raising, donations of time, goods and services from the public and businesses.

"We realise we need to work closely with the police to ensure that the allotment doesn't become a place to sleep rough and that there should be no drinking or drug taking on the site. It is imperative that the site is safe place for those in genuine need to utilise".

"The project would bring the community together and could be a hook for those of no fixed abode to change their lifestyle. It is also proven that gardening improves physical and mental health."

Anyone who wishes to help in the City Growing Project can contact Mrs Sollowayon Derby 725597 or e-mail: