An exciting initiative by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust to teach people how to grow their own fruit and veg has really taken root – thanks to generous support from the National Lottery.
The Lottery’s Reaching Communities Fund has agreed to hand out almost £160,000 to the Chorley Community Food Growing Project, to help hundreds of people learn the skills to grow and cook their own food and improve their health and wellbeing in the process.
The scheme has already secured funding from NHS Central Lancashire, and Senior Project Officer Julie Livesey from the Lancashire Wildlife Trust says the pledge of new money from the Lottery is a tremendous boost.
The project has already helped more than fifteen community groups and delivered training courses on topics like food growing and seed sowing since it began in September 2009. This money will help expand it by paying for additional staff and will also fund recruitment, training, travel, evaluation and overheads.
Julie said: “We are delighted to hear the news that we’ve got this grant from the National Lottery. It will make a huge difference to the Chorley project.
“We will be training people to grow food organically so there will be benefits to wildlife. The idea is to give people the confidence to grow their own food, improve community cohesion and reduce isolation.”
The project, which also receives support from Chorley Council, includes monthly training courses, a buddying scheme to train food-growing mentors and establishing ties with local GP practices so people can understand more about the benefits of eating healthy produce.
Just as importantly, the Trust is reaching out to involve people with physical and learning difficulties, and aims to teach lots of local children about the fun of growing their own – and how tasty home-grown produce can be.
The Chorley project is one of a series of food growing and shared allotment schemes the Trust has set up throughout Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside. The Trust believes that encouraging people into the outdoors and teaching them the health benefits of growing your own gives them a much greater appreciation of nature and wildlife.
The Trust is keen to hear from schools, youth clubs, community groups, families and individuals that would like to get involved or hear more about this project in Chorley.
For more information about Chorley Community Food Growing, contact Project Officer Sarah Turner on 07740 419179 or by e-mail on email@example.com