Paul Paine, the community garden manager and Yvonne, one of the volunteers

Ecoworks’ longstanding commitment to helping vulnerable people recently entered its 31st year.

From foraging plants, digging your own dinner to sewing and basket making, Ecoworks never run out of activities to keep their members busy.

Their base sits on a large plot in the heart of the historic St Ann’s allotments, offering a peaceful refuge just outside the city.

Ecoworks’ main communal building is used for cooking meals and workshops

Social inclusion is their main priority, working with referral agencies and advertising their community through their Facebook page over the years.

Paul Paine, their community garden manager, said: “It’s a no stress environment, where people with anxiety can do as little as they want and feel part of that group.

“There are physical benefits, people have access to fresh and healthy food.

“They get a little bit of vitamin D and that winter sun.”

Their base sits on a large plot in St Ann’s Allotments

Lucy, their community worker, said: “Some people are in recovery and some came in when they were in a much harder time and it’s nice that they stayed on.

“[We’re] aimed at people who are socially isolated, where it’s that feeling of home and family, where they can come together.”

Funding has sometimes proved difficult, where they rely mainly on grant funding.

Paul said: “It’s a rollercoaster keeping on top of the funding… it is difficult.

“There are less big pots, there’s no council or health money.”

But that does not hinder the gardening groups’ spirit, where the loyalty of their staff is what has helped keep the charity running for three decades.

Yvonne, one of their volunteers, said: “When the funding is scarce, the staff volunteer their time to keep it running.

“It’s like a family, it really is a community, like a village, like a tribe.”