STAFF and students from York St John University have won extra funding for a project set up to support refugees in the city.

The team have been working with Refugee Action York to provide community allotment spaces for refugees.

The project has transformed a disused allotment in Haxby Road in the city into a "beautiful" space ready for planting and growing.

Extra funding has been awarded from the 'Growing Green Spaces Fund' towards travel costs to enable refugees to get to and from the site on a regular basis - which was identified as an issue.

Funds will also contribute to garden centre visits and sharing of cooked food grown at the allotment.

Dr Hannah Spring, one of the project leaders, said: "For refugees, growing food and flowers can also help them connect with their own heritage through the growing of culturally relevant foods.

"It can also help to develop personal independence away from statutory services and begin to sustain relationships within the community.”

Fiona Howlett, another project leader, said: “We hope that the longer-term future of the project will help build sustainability and help to forge relationships between the refugees and the allotment community.”

The project has provided volunteer opportunities for students, particularly Occupational Therapy Society members.