Last year we piloted a community volunteering program at our market garden, and now we have our Social Value Report 2020 showing what we did. You can read the report by clicking on the download button.
We exist to create opportunities for food sovereignty, climate friendly farming and wellbeing. Last year, we demonstated this with: -684 volunteer hours were undertaken across 9 months involving 28 diverse people. -40 sessions were run on food growing. -This equates to a combined value of £15,960.00 through volunteering -114 interactions between the organic growing community and local people took place.
Volunteer sessions increased the confidence and independence of community members, as people developed new social circles, increased activity outdoors and enabled connections with nature. Volunteer benefits included: 100% of people involved reported health and wellbeing benefits 100% of those interviewed built skills, knowledge and experience in food growing 45% were total beginners to growing upon starting the programme
We also traded at 77 local markets, and delivered over 1100 veg boxes to local people.
We want to build on this for 2020, and we want you to get involved. In January, we changed our company structure to a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, which reflects our values and means we are more accountable. If you would be interested in joining the volunteer sessions, please send me your email address. If you’d be interested in a veg box, also send your email. And if you’d like to hear what we are doing next year, send your email to be added to our main mailing list. Click here to email us.
We signed our contract with Tim and Janet from Abbey Leys organic farm last Tuesday, which felt very exciting. So, I have been moving forward with the next stages of the site build and the associated admin.
I began the slow process of adding the Treasurer of our steering group to the bank account. It is a milestone on the road to transitioning from a private company into the type of social enterprise that wants to use their profits and assets for the public good.
We have been continuing to improve the house, so that we can be more professional with the market stall (and hopefully more profitable with it). We built a large shed and have fitted it with two large commercial fridges.
I am putting it out there that we are looking for people who are interested in volunteering at the new site to fill out a survey. The link is here or people can have a chat to us at Levenshulme Market on Saturdays or email us. Having lots of surveys filled in will show their is lots of interest in what we are doing, and help us receive the grant to cover volunteer travel expenses, lunches and equipment including waterproof coats and wellies.
We have begun to put together a greenhouse in the garden, so that we can propagate plants for sale at the market as these have been very popular. And I have began to liaise with the planning department about our plans for the site, including the large polytunnel. And I have the forms from the Soil Association to transfer the organic license for this land to Reddy Lane. More on all of this as it unfolds….