My Twitter Feed

January 17, 2018

Latest:

Two weeks left to share views on plans for Bristol’s parks -

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Carillion’s liquidation and its effect on the landscaping industry -

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Perennial offers support following Carillion collapse -

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Brighton & Hove City Council produces plan to protect Stanmer Park’s woods -

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Liverpool sets out 15-year plan for growth -

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Gristwood and Toms champions international accreditation programme -

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Green-tree launches bespoke soil for Rain Gardens -

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Make your voice heard – Pro Landscaper digital survey -

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Landscaping companies announced for APL Avenue at BBC Gardeners’ World Live 2018 -

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Butter Wakefield to design Gaze Burvill garden at RHS Chelsea 2018 -

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

North Yorkshire nursery helps restore historic site to former glories -

Monday, January 15, 2018

RHS begins search for School Gardeners of the Year -

Monday, January 15, 2018

Thrive seeking more people as volunteering in nature proven to be good for health -

Monday, January 15, 2018

INNSA responds to glyphosate licence renewal -

Monday, January 15, 2018

BASIS launches new Lawn Assured Standard -

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Funding agreed for Marwood Community Hall project -

Saturday, January 13, 2018

University secures planning approval for student centre and new civic space -

Friday, January 12, 2018

Först to showcase new lightweight petrol woodchipper at EHS -

Friday, January 12, 2018

A556 ‘green bridge’ is winter wonderland -

Friday, January 12, 2018

Bespoke membership scheme The Turf Club launches -

Friday, January 12, 2018

Businesses urged to get behind community farms & gardens

businesses

UK Businesses, big and small, are being urged to take action to support their local community growing groups, many of which struggle to make ends meet.

Katie Rushworth, who co-presents ITV’s Love Your Garden with Alan Titchmarsh, is launching the ‘Business Heroes’ campaign with a new video and toolkit, explaining how businesses can benefit and offering practical advice about how to get involved.

Community growing is a simple idea: a group of local people, usually volunteers, get together to transform a patch of land into an oasis of nature, where people can gather, learn, grow and relax.

Katie Rushworth, who runs her own garden design company and is passionate about local food and growing initiatives, says: “Community growing groups make neighbourhoods better, healthier and friendlier places but, with less funding around, many of them struggle. That’s why finding ‘Business Heroes’ to support them is so vital.

“Take my home village in Yorkshire for example. Our local community garden is a place for local residents to get together to transform flowerbeds, containers and baskets but this only happens because of local business sponsorship and volunteers who want to give something back to the place they live and work in.”

Regardless of their size, all businesses have something to offer. Some prefer to sponsor a project or offer funding over a longer period whilst others get employees involved in fundraising activities or volunteering. Offering discounts on products or free use of equipment is another way of helping, as well as donating skills and training – anything from website design to book keeping.

There is plenty of evidence to show businesses themselves gain tangible benefits from offering support. It’s good for employee health and wellbeing, a practical way of supporting local communities, can improve the local economy and also boosts a company’s local reputation.

Statistics from Employee Volunteering, an organisation involved in bringing together business and local communities, reinforce these benefits. 97 per cent of volunteers say activities help develop a strong team and 95 per cent say volunteering has had a positive influence on them.

Many high profile businesses are already taking action for local community growing groups, including Network Rail and Marks and Spencer. Sophie Collett, project manager at Marks and Spencer’s Spark Something Good initiative, said: “Volunteering on a community growing site is both motivating and inspiring, something which I’m sure colleagues take back to their daily jobs.”

Business Heroes is part of a wider campaign, called Local Heroes, which inspires individuals to support community growing groups in their neighbourhoods. Professional gardener and BBC broadcaster Christine Walkden and TV chef Mark Greenaway have also thrown their weight behind the campaign.

It is estimated there are more than 2,500 community growing groups in the UK. These include city farms, community gardens, community orchards, therapeutic and children’s gardens. Most rely on voluntary support and need more help to thrive. According to a recent survey*, nearly half of the community growing groups questioned regularly operated at a loss and the majority felt the success of their project relied on grant funding.

Heidi Seary, project manager of the Growing Together partnership which is spearheading the ‘Local Heroes’ campaign, said: “We hope our campaign will inspire thousands of people and businesses to take action and do something to support the fantastic work of these groups. The more heroes we create, the more people and businesses will be inspired to do the same, long after the campaign is over.

“Our new toolkit and video will be an invaluable and inspirational resource for businesses who want to take the first steps towards supporting community growing. We would encourage people to read the toolkit if they want to find out more about how to get involved and how doing so can benefit their business.”

The Local Heroes campaign is part of Growing Together, a Big Lottery-funded project led by the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG), which is leading the year-long national campaign as part of its work to help bring financial sustainability to the UK’s network of community growing groups. Membership of the FCFCG is now free for all such groups.

To find out more about how to become a Business Hero, visit the campaign’s Business Heroes page where businesses can download the toolkit, watch the video, find details on how to get involved and where their local groups are.

Comments are closed.