The Growing Together Project
We run the Growing Together Project, a local food growing enterprise providing opportunities for all sections of the local community, particularly those at a social disadvantage or with a disability, to learn
horticultural skills and grow their own produce; interact socially and be part of a team.
Charity information: The Newbury Community Resource Centre Limited
We offer training and volunteering placements, enabling people with learning and physical disabilities, and socially excluded people to undertake accredited training courses in horticultural activities. Although we have traditionally offered training in areas such as furniture repair and warehousing, we wanted to meet the unmet need in the local area for activities in an outdoor setting. We are seeking funding for seeds, compost, tools and associated materials for our new growing season.
The Project has been accessed by 220 of our volunteers, people from 25 other local organisations and local residents, enabling all sections of the community, disabled and non-disabled, young and old, to work alongside each other. The project provides our volunteers with a wide range of new experiences, a sense of achievement and increased self-confidence, and a view to entering employment where possible, as well as providing fresh, locally grown food to the local community
To involve increased numbers of volunteers and local organisations in the Growing Together Project.
Activities» Continue to develop links with organisations including local learning disability and mental health organisations, pupil referral units and job centres
» Offer a positive, friendly enviornment in which accredited training can be obtained at a pace and level dependent on the needs of the individual
What success will look like
Success will be...being accessible to all local groups, and involving at least 100 volunteers and 20 local organisations in the Project over the coming year.
Enabling volunteers from all sections of the community to work together, and providing skills for volunteers to entering or re-entering further training or employment where possible. We will continue to monitor and track progress of our mentors and volunteers using our robust data collection processes, measuring success through numbers involved with the project and feedback from volunteers.
The project could not continue without our volunteers - to support others, as well as planting, growing and learning. We recruit volunteers from all sections of the community, from customers, word of mouth and many local organisations, and we would be able to draw on all these ongoing relationships to recruit more volunteers if required.
We provide regular reports back on the progress of the project, detailing current and planned activities, and achievement against targets. These are usually six monthly, but we are always flexible as to a donor's wishes.
Budget - Project Cost: £5,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £2,000 Compost Materials £1,000 Pots Materials £1,000 Seeds and seed trays Materials £1,000 Tools and materials Materials
The site at Cottismore, near Kingsclere in North Hampshire, previously a thriving commercial nursery which had been allowed to fall into disrepair.
We now have outside growing beds, fully planted orchard, two commercial size greenhouses, polytunnels, fruit cage, rainwater tanks, and an irrigation system.
We have had two full growing seasons producing bumper crops including garlic, chillis, beans, lettuce, potatoes and sweetcorn . We were able to pass on surplus stock through many outlets.
Volunteers from all walks of life, including those with physical disabilities, learning difficulties, mental health issues, the elderly, disaffected youth and long term unemployed.
We have recently opened our newly converted Woodwork Workshop, enabling volunteers to learn new skills including construction of garden tools, planters and furniture. We also have a new "Helping Hands" project running, to involve more local groups to use the site, with their own gardening area and bespoke support.
We have been running successful volunteer projects for 10 years now, and we have recently been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award given to volunteer groups for outstanding work done in their local communities.
Our volunteers benefit from engaging in real work in both indoor and outdoor settings, learning and developing new skills and most importantly becoming a full member of a team dedicated to supporting the local community.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Kelvin is the Chief Executive of the organisation.
Terry is one of our Training Officers, and has been instrumental in getting the Growing Together Project up and running.
John is our Horticultural Manager and makes sure we plant the right things at the right time!
Derek is our nuts and bolts man - making sure everything runs smoothly and that our volunteers and trainees enjoy a positive experience.