During summer 2016 we offered weekly half-day sessions of supported volunteering, funded by Hackney small grants. People were enabled to get fitter and healthier, make and meet friends while learning about gardening. If you are interested in future supported volunteering sessions, do phone us or email firstname.lastname@example.org,uk.
Fit to Grow Project
The Fit2Grow project was for people with learning disabilities and was funded by Comic Relief. It consisted of two 3 month workshops for one day a week and started on 21st April 2015.
We looked particularly for participants who were at risk of (or who had) diabetes or obesity. We offered to work in partnership with health providers, learning disability supporting organisations and parents or Carers to ensure the beneficiaries’ success on the project.
Pop-up Produce Project
Our Pop-up Produce Project was funded from Comic Relief via Sports Relief and the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund and was completed in October 2013. This project provided Carers and the people they support with horticultural therapy and training in gardening and cooking skills. The programme and the skills learnt by participants allowed the group to run a small pop-up market stall selling the produce they had grown on the course and to run a pop-up café at the garden during the summer months.
Over 12 young Carers attended our gardening and cooking sessions. 16 Carers attended our herbal produce workshops and ran an outreach workshop for Carers and people with Alzheimers.
Estate to Plate
This two year project ended in 2014. It helped local residents to gain skills for growing food: two accredited and six non-accredited training courses on food growing topics for local residents were supplied as part of a Local Food grant. The whole project was co-ordinated by Shoreditch Trust, also in partnership with Get Growing.
21 local residents gained accredited qualifications. Over 40 residents attended basic gardening courses and workshops.
Wick-ed Gardening Group
The Wick-Ed Gardening Group was a programme of accredited training commissioned by Hackney Council in partnership with the Hackney One team and funded by Hackney Council and the London Development Agency. The project was run as outreach training, based at the Trowbridge Centre in Hackney Wick, with a focus on developing and maintaining the Trowbridge Centre’s community garden for local use.
Our Herbal Heaven workshops were run as part of a Pop–Up Produce Project (PUPP) with Hackney Young Carers. The kids got a chance to do gardening and craft activities as well as cooking and eating delicious food.
Corelogic-funded therapeutic placements
Changes to social services provision in Hackney have affected a number of our gardeners on therapeutic placement (quite a few have lost funding for our services). So we are very grateful to Corelogic for providing a bursary to pay for placements for those no longer eligible for funding. This provided much needed ecotherapy sessions for people recovering from strokes, head injuries and for people with disabilities or long-term health issues.
Vintage Gardening Club
This started in late 2014 and ran for 5 months. It was a gardening and grub club for the over 60′s – for people who enjoy digging the earth, eating food, meeting others, gaining new skills or sharing and refreshing old ones.
Members met once a week on Thursday mornings at the garden. They developed gardening and volunteer skills,took part in themed workshops, including herbal, art, floristry, ‘yard to jar’, beekeeping and many more. They had the opportunity to join us for training in first aid and safeguarding vulnerable people. Lastly, they made lunch to share, harvesting ingredients from the garden, and developed a recipe book to share. You may download a flyer here.
New Leaf training
Our New Leaf programme provided horticultural training for people with learning disabilities and mental health distress as part of City Bridge Trust’s ‘Growing Localities’. It was a two-year project ending in 2015, providing five cohorts with accredited training and associated real-life work skills and job search activities. Half of the learning cohorts’ time is off-site, providing real life work experience in community spaces.
These were very practical courses suitable for people with support needs aged 16 and over. There were two levels of courses:
Skills for Working Life: Entry Level Horticulture and Preparing for Work
A 6 month introduction to gardening course for 2 days per week, one in the classroom and St Mary’s garden, the other gaining practical experience in public gardens.
City and Guilds Level 1 Award, Certificate, or Diploma in Practical Horticulture Skills
This was a one year course for 2 days per week, one in the classroom and St Mary’s garden, the other gaining practical experience in public gardens.
It was a Level 1 introduction to gardening course.
The Otesha Branch Out Scheme
In 2014 we ran horticultural training sessions for young people aged 16-24, funded by the Otesha Project. We were contracted to deliver accredited training to six cohorts over two years under this training programme.