Building of Community Fruit Press now underway
A Real Community Partnership
Holywood Men’s Shed is part of the Holywood Shared Town Consortium, as such, it works with other groups on projects to improve the well-being and quality of life of the community. The idea of building a community fruit press came from a public meeting of Holywood Transition Town which is also part of the Consortium.
At this meeting the idea of a community orchard was discussed. This would entail encouraging residents to plant apple and other fruit trees in their gardens. This will not only look good but will encourage biodiversity and produce locally grown fruit – and as everybody knows “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. The fruit can be used in all sorts of ways to help with a healthy diet. One way is to produce pure fruit juice – that is where the community fruit press comes in! Pressing fruit, bottling it and pasteurising it is quite a bit of work which is best done with help of others. It is a great community activity which helps you to get to know your fellow residents and gives the satisfaction of producing a product of real value to everyone.
Holywood Men’s Shed volunteered to build the fruit press but it needed funding and support to do so. Local resident Brian Smith approached Mitchell House – a special school off the Holywood Road to see if they would allow one of its school workshops to be used to build the press. Brian is a part-time teacher in the school and the principal immediately saw the benefits of supporting a local community initiative. The Public Health Agency agreed to provide funding for the materials and the North Down Borough Council also provided support. The Men’s Shed got together a team of volunteers to work under Brain’s guidance. It was a great opportunity to learn and share skills and enjoy each other’s company while doing something worthwhile for the whole community.
It was a real partnership between agencies and groups. Work began in mid-January and it is hoped to be completed by Easter. When finished it will be handed over to Holywood Transition Town who will make it available to community groups, schools, churches and so on. They will also provide advice on the whole process of juice making – it will be a fun activity and produce a healthy product for all to enjoy.
Pictures show Brain Smith (Mitchell House) looking at the fruit press plans supplied by Holywood Transition Town and two Men’s Shedders working away on the press.
For more information contact Paul O’Neill (firstname.lastname@example.org)