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Leeds Beckett allotment brings together a student community

A cat sits on a wooden tree trunk in front of the allotment space where all the gardening takes place.
A special guest named “Lottie” accompanies the group each week when a break to cuddle is needed. Photo from @leedsbeckettallotment on Instagram

What started three years ago as an allotment group has created a therapeutic escape for university students.

By: Sloane Caetano

Alicia Jassner, founder of the Leeds Beckett allotment group works to unite a student body while creating a safe place. As Jassner took time off last year, the group had a downfall where no one could manage to keep it alive.

Now, seventeen students meet every Sunday to participate in an activity that benefits their mental health and the environment. Nina Cecconi, a student in the group says, “The group in the past hasn’t really managed to progress, but now there’s so much attention we even have an Instagram account.”

The collection of students reaches the university of Leeds allotment, and the walking society at Leeds Beckett. “We’re next to the university of Leeds allotment, and we’re in collaboration with them,” says Nina.

The experience entails building a strong student community while learning gardening basics. Nina says, “It’s not just about gardening, sometimes the weather doesn’t permit and we focus on workshops which are a more in-depth look at gardening and the ecosystem.”

We tend to forget that being out in nature actually becomes a form of therapy. “I like to be outdoors as it gives you the time away from the stresses of life” says Nina.

“Christine Dow was originally referred to the garden by her GP to help overcome her depression. After a year of “green” therapy, she became a volunteer; for the past decade she works weekly supporting others referred to the project” according to the Guardian.

Leeds Beckett allotment brings together a student community – draft

A cat sits on a wooden tree trunk in front of the allotment space where all the gardening takes place.
A special guest named “Lottie” accompanies the group each week when a break to cuddle is needed. Photo from @leedsbeckettallotment on Instagram

What started three years ago as an allotment group has created a therapeutic escape for university students.

By: Sloane Caetano

Alicia Jassner, lead representative of the allotment group works to unite a student body while creating a safe place for these students. As Jassner took time off last year, the allotment group had a downfall where no one could manage to keep it alive.

Now, seventeen students come together every Sunday and Wednesday to participate in a calming activity that benefits their mental health, and the environment. Nina Cecconi, student a part of the the allotment says, “The group in the past hasn’t really managed to progress, but now there’s so much attention we even have a social media Instagram account.”

As the group continues to progress, the collection of students has branched to the university of Leeds allotment, and the walking society at Leeds Beckett. “We’re actually right next to the university of Leeds allotment, and we’re going to do quite a lot of collaborations which is great,” says Nina.

The group values an experience that entails building a strong student community while at the same time learning about the process of gardening. Nina says, “It’s not just about gardening, sometimes the weather does not permit and we focus on the workshops which are a more in-depth look at gardening and the ecosystem.”

We tend to view gardening as a single-serving process, but we forget that being out in nature actually becomes a form of therapy whether or not you realize it. “I like to be outdoors as it gives you the time away from the stress and worries of life” says Nina.

“Christine Dow, sixty-three, was originally referred to the garden by her GP to help overcome her depression. After a year of “green” therapy, she became a volunteer; for the past decade she has spent a few hours every week supporting others referred to the project” according the Guardian.

Primary Sources

  1. West Yorkshire Police – Emergency dial: 999 Non-emergency dial: 0845 606 0606; email: neighbourhood.helpline@leeds.ac.uk
  2. Leeds Beckett University police liaison officer – PC Mark Fox email: Mark.Fox@leedsbeckett.ac.uk
  3. West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue press office – Telephone: 01274 682311, Email: information@westyorksfire.gov.uk
  4. Leeds City Council Press Office – Telephone: 0113 222 4444, Social Media: Facebook – LeedsCouncil; Twitter – @LeedsCC_Help
  5. Leeds Teaching Hospital’s NHS Trust press office – Telephone: 0113 843 5470, Email: leedsccg.comms@nhs.net
  6. Leeds Grand Theatre’s Head of Communications – Amy Sanderson, Social Media: Twitter – amyd1978
  7. Leeds United Communications Manager – James Mooney, Social Media: Twitter – JayMooney86
  8. Leeds Beckett Advertising Expert – Neil Kelley (Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for the Marketing Subject Group at Leeds Business School) Telephone: 0113 81 23864, Email: N.Kelley@leedsbeckett.ac.uk Social Media: Twitter – @NeilKelley
  9. Transpennine Express press office – Email: tpecustomer.relations@firstgroup.com, Telephone:  0345 600 1671
  10. Leeds Bradford Airport press office – Telephone: 0871 288 2288, Social Media: Instagram – @leeds_bradford_airport Twitter – @LBIAirport Facebook – @OfficalLeedsBradfordAirport Youtube – LeedsBradfordAirport

What Kind of Journalist Are You

By: Sloane Caetano

Topics 

The first topic that I am most interested in is food. I love reading and learning – mostly through blogs about why we choose certain foods over others and the benefits of those food groups. Personally, being vegan I have always enjoyed gaining a deeper insight into how veganism impacts both individuals and the environment.  

I am interested in writing about daily news stories, particularly stories about the film industry and how society interprets how actors, actresses, activists, and other famous individuals behave in general.  

Lastly, I am interested in investigative journalism and learning more about the process of uncovering the crucial details of a massive story.  

Sites 

For content covering the film industry, I tend to read about the various stories through an Instagram account called “Enews” – a reliable source that includes quotes from interviews, and the most recent story occurring in Hollywood. URL: https://www.instagram.com/enews/?hl=en 

Furthermore, I gravitate towards twitter for various news stories, specifically the current political headlines tend to be posted through twitter. Personally, I follow CNN which covers accurate stories that I can understand and apply. URL: https://twitter.com/CNN?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor 

For investigative journalism, I have watched the series “Killer Women with Piers Morgan” where he travels to the U.S to meet various women who are known for their unspeakable criminal acts. Through these interviews, he delves into the details that allow him to come out of the experience with stories that society is keen on learning about. URL: (Plays on Netflix) 

I have always relied on Ted Talks as a key source for research covering all the topics of journalism I am most interested in. Many different perspectives are offered, which then enables me to digest the information which can be applied to my daily life. URL: https://www.ted.com/tedx/events 

PETA – The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is a charity designed to protect the rights of all animals. The website covers new stories, offers valuable statistics and outlines the hard truth of how animals are poorly treated. Through the website I can gain knowledge and grow as an individual who cares about the rights of animals. URL: https://www.peta.org.uk/ 

Hobbies/Interests

I have grown up playing different sports that I still try to incorporate into my daily routine as much as possible. Football, volleyball and basketball have always been yearly sports to look forward to both playing and watching live. I enjoy reading, writing, and being outdoors in my spare time. I love to learn new recipes and try them at home. Listening to podcasts is something that I also include into my weekly routines.  

All the podcasts I listen to are through Spotify. The first one is called, “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard” follows the actor – Dax Shepard, who interviews other actors, actresses, and activists about their life story and their take on various topics. I enjoy listening to his podcast as I can hear celebrity gossip and learn about various topics at the same time. URL: https://armchairexpertpod.com/ 

The television program known as “Match of the Day” presents the highlights of the premier league matches from the previous weekend. I prefer to watch this program if I have a busy schedule and I do not have the time to follow the live game. URL: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007t9y1 

The podcast series “The Minimalists Podcast” reflects the saying “less is more” as the two hosts discuss ways to focus on the most important things in life that are not material. I value these crucial conversations as we are living in a world that is losing sight of balancing material and emotional values. URL: https://www.theminimalists.com/podcast/ 

The podcast series called “Stuff You Should Know” is as straightforward as the title. The two hosts use the platform to educate the public about common things and how they work. This series is not something I incorporate into my daily routine, however when I am in the mood to learn about something, I was not previously aware of, this is what I turn to. URL: https://www.stuffyoushouldknow.com/podcasts 

“Goodreads” is a website that matches your reading preferences to various novels. You can make an account or simply read about different books that may spark an unknown interest. You will receive notifications about new novels that correspond to whichever genre interests you most. For me, because I love to read, this website is perfect for me to find out about new books. URL: https://www.goodreads.com/