Young Richmond residents are learning to cook healthy food and grow their own produce.

On Friday, July 27 young people from Whitton Youth Centre in Twickenham were joined by the Mayor, local police, volunteers, police cadets and staff from the Harlequins and Whitton Youth Zone, as part of a community day.

They cleared weeds and rubbish from the garden, before planting flowers, fruit and vegetables, creating an allotment.

Whitton Youth Zone is operated by Achieving for Children, who aim ‘to provide children and their families with the support and services they need to live happy, healthy, successful lives, providing a safe environment for young people to meet, make friends and learn skills’.

Cllr Ben Khosa, Mayor of Richmond upon Thames said: “Investing in outside space for young people in the borough is hugely beneficial to their health and wellbeing. It engages all their senses, encourages healthy eating, teaches responsibility, highlights the importance of taking care of the environment, teaches patience and develops life skills.”

PS Jon McLoughlin from Whitton Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “This community event was a great way to break down barriers between police, young people and their local community.

“Our hope is that by investing in these safe spaces we can prevent crime such as anti-social behaviour and provide young members with a network of people and activities, which will keep them away from knife crime and gangs.

“The young people who worked with us today should be proud of what they have achieved and created.”

Mandy Smith, Achieving for Children’s Manager of Whitton Youth Zone, said: “I hope our members will find gardening relaxing and rewarding. Not everybody is lucky enough to have a garden at home or in fact an allotment.

“Here they can have both and learn new skills. I am overwhelmed with the contribution of the local community to helping us creating a welcoming outside space. On behalf of our young people, thank you.”

Whitton Youth centre is at 1 Britannia Lane, Whitton, TW2 7JX. The centre is open to all Young People from the ages of 10 - 19, five evenings a week, offering a variety of activities and equipment including a gym. For more information, head to their website: