Students from the Royal Agricultural University have volunteered at HMP Eastwood Park to educate prisoners on how best to grow their own fruit and vegetables.

As part of the University’s Raising and Giving (RAG) week, students have been given a portion of land at the prison near Wotton-under-Edge to create an allotment.

Female prisoners will be shown how to cultivate home-grown produce in an effort to increase the quality of their diets.

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The High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, Countess Bathurst, who is frequently involved with projects at the prison, noticed the food budget for each prisoner was less than £2 a day, resulting in diets consisting mainly of carbohydrates.

“The nutrition would help them gain a better outlook on life, teach them more about home-grown foods, and hopefully they’ll take that knowledge with them into the future,” said Lady Bathurst.

Fundraising

As well as this volunteering, students have been involved in a number of other ventures including a RAG rally, a tractor pull and sports matches.

These are all in effort to raise money for the mental health charity Mind, The Farming Community Network and the High Sheriff’s Fund.

Edward Dillon, SU chairman said: “Getting involved with extracurricular volunteering is great for students’ personal development and will look fantastic on their CV.”

Now that RAG week has finished the students are hoping to continue their charitable work using their practical skills.