In September Greenhavens organised a hugely successful initiative – a Community Garden Away Day outing.

 

SCDA funded a minibus to transport 2/3 volunteers from each group to visit all the gardens. In all, twenty volunteer representatives from Newhaven Growing Together Community Garden, Seaford Community Garden, New Peacehaven Community Garden, Lewes Therapeutic Garden, Landport Community Garden and Lewes Community Allotments spent the day visiting each others community gardens to share ideas, solutions and challenges. Together with visitors at the gardens, everybody had a great day including a delicious lunch (courtesy of Newhaven Community garden) and tasty cakes and tea round the cauldron at Landport Community garden. At each garden, the host group told the group more about the garden, and there were also some relevant specific talks/discussions on site.

The event was such a success that Greenhavens Network intends to build on this successful day, co-designing support for the community gardens. If you are interested in getting involved in your local community garden please check out our website for further details

Don’t take our word for it, what things did our participants say they got from the day?

A huge majority of participants would like to make this at least an annual event! It could also be a blueprint for bringing other specific community groups together, to share skills and support.

The detailed feedback from this event has helped Greenhavens to start to plan how best to support the gardens going forward. Initial plans are to look at funding marketing literature and support. This will help with volunteer recruitment, volunteer leaders and training programs for the garden projects and for their communities. Also on the list is accessing capital funding for compost toilets, shelter, classroom, tools etc.

It seems there was a huge interest in keeping the garden volunteers in touch with each other and arranging further visits in the future. The suggestion is that an email community gardens network group be set up, so that people can share ideas and stories, ask questions, discuss funding opportunities, post photographs etc. Please let Greenhavens know if this sounds helpful or interesting to you in your role as a community garden volunteer? Anybody could email out to the group so it would be a matter of reading news flashes rather than a regular newsletter which can become a bit onerous and ends up being the responsibility of one person or group. For example, a quick news flash could be that Lewes Therapeutic Garden launched last Friday.