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Connect with your community

Started by Growing Support Feb 7. 0 Replies

Older people living in care are twice as likely to experience loneliness as those in the community.We are looking for friendly volunteers with an interest in helping others to gardening, to support…Continue

Tags: #givingback, #gardening, #volunteer

Can You Help Combat Loneliness?

Started by Growing Support Nov 29, 2017. 0 Replies

Growing Support are looking for friendly volunteers with interests in gardening and supporting people, to help older people and people with dementia take part in gardening activities.  You will…Continue

Join our volunteers!

Started by Growing Support Aug 17, 2017. 0 Replies

We're looking for friendly volunteers to join our team working hard to enable people with dementia to stay physically and socially active.Join us and make a valuable contribution to your community,…Continue

Using Gardening to Address Social Isolation

Started by Growing Support May 3, 2017. 0 Replies

How You Can Help Tackle Social Isolation in Your CommunityRecent research shows up to 50% of older people living in care never go outside and they are twice as likely to experience severe loneliness…Continue

Organising an Open Gardens Event

Why Open Gardens?

For many people, food growing is meant to be perfect - vegetables in straight rows, not a weed in sight. Spaces are meant to look like how they are shown on TV, rather than allotments and food gardens everywhere in their messy imperfection.

Opening up gardens to the public therefore gives them an insight into other people's ways of growing and is a fantastic opportunity to share skills and knowledge. People can learn from each other and be inspired to get started or keep growing.

How to Organise an Open Gardens Event

We would recommend, reading through the guide to organising effective events and take all these points into account when planning an open gardens event.

Here are some further questions to help get you started:

  • Collaboration - who else can you work with? Will it just be your site that has an open day? Or can you create a bit of a local event with lots of sites open at once? This way you can share publicity, resources and energy to make it happen, but it will be a bigger project.
  • How can you support learning? Are spaces just open to the public or is there going to be a tour or some workshops that can attract people and help people learn new skills?
  • Can you sell refreshments or other items and use the day as an opportunity for a bit of grassroots fundraising?
  • Insurance - does your group have public liability insurance? What happens if someone trips in a garden? Are all the sites safe and appropriate for the public?
  • Access - how easy are the sites for people with all different kinds of ability? Is there anything you need to forewarn people of?
  • Fun! Do you have things happening that will attract people and give them an enjoyable day? During the Incredible Edible Somerset Open Gardens weekend some groups organised bug hunts for kids and tea parties.

Inspiring Local Examples

Incredible Edible Somerset Open Gardens

Since 2012, the Incredible Edible Somerset Open Gardens has been taking place, opening up allotments, smallholdings, community gardens and more all over Somerset. The first weekend in August 2012 supported 135 people to share skills, and over 200 benefited in 2013 participating in diverse grassroots workshops, while visiting inspiring local projects. Read a write up of the weekend here.

Details for each year will be listed here, get in touch to get involved in this county-wide grassroots event.

Bristol's Get Growing Trail

Bristol Food Network organise a get growing trail every June, with diverse urban growing projects open to the public. They also organise workshops and different demonstrations. Be inspired by what they have done here.

Further links & resources

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