Monday, 02 August 2021.

Plans for setting up the Aspire hub at Bechange in Aylesham

11 December, 2020

Plans for setting up the ASPIRE hub* at Bechange in Aylesham are gathering pace. The garden will be cleared in the next couple of months so that work can begin on the kitchen garden in 2021 where participants will be able to learn about the many physical and mental wellbeing benefits of growing your own. We’re also looking for other patches of land nearby that can be used for a community orchard, bee-keeping and other activities.

Whatever is grown in the ASPIRE gardens will eventually be used in cooking sessions where people taking part in the project will learn about cooking on a budget, eating seasonally, meal planning and more.

Participants will learn new skills and there will be plenty of opportunities to gain qualifications and develop strong CVs. We’re forming a focus group of local people and professionals who will help to shape what’s offered in the ASPIRE programme which we hope to start rolling out in early spring. Watch this space.

*ASPIRE is an innovative 3-year project (funded by the European Regional Development Fund) taking place in southern England and northern France with the aim of tackling the joint problems of obesity and unemployment in a holistic way. There is a link between the two – the longer someone is unemployed, the more likely they are to have problems with their weight and vice versa – and ASPIRE is piloting a model to help people live healthier lives and increase their employability skills.

Dover District Council, Your Leisure Ltd, Kent County Council and Kent Community NHS Health Foundation Trust are working with Bechange in Aylesham to create one of the three UK ASPIRE hubs.

For further information about ASPIRE and how you can get involved, either as a volunteer or to participate in the project, please contact any of the ASPIRE team:

Angela Doggett, Bechange
Ian Barker, Your Leisure
Sam Stanley, Dover District Council