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The Cultivate Years - Achievements

We have been running the Cultivate Programme for over  six years.  This is what we have achieved.

Year 5

In Year 5 there were a total of 1422 participants who got involved in volunteering work parties, training events, schools activities and one off events.

Volunteers felt that food growing contributed to their healthier lifestyle and improved fitness level, enjoyment, development of new skills and learning new ways to interact with local food growing initiatives.

Schools

A diversity of activities have taken place in Primary and Secondary schools and Children’s Centres relating to food growing and eating, from games and crafts, to planting, growing and cooking. All activities have provided opportunity for people to enjoy being active outdoors, watch living things grow from seed, appreciate where food comes from and use the produce grown in cooking.

Volunteering and Training

Volunteering opportunities were diverse, from clearing land for resident led community garden development and for disabled people to access growing space, to growing food at local train stations. Volunteering opportunities have been provided for groups such as Red Rose Recovery and One Planet Planters to residents and community groups such as Rishton Prospects Panel.

Training took place across the borough such as teaching community groups and allotmenteers the basics of organic food growing to Ascentis Healthy Living units in partnership with the local college.

Allotments

People who took part in allotments commented on the difference fo growing ahs made to their health:

  • Reason for having an allotment is mainly to be in the fresh air and for exercise and any home grown food is a bonus.
  • Home grown food is much more tasty and there is great satisfaction from planting and tending and finishing up with it on my plate. It is difficult to directly relate the difference that home grown food had made to my health but I know it is much healthier than shop bought.
  • The actual gardening is very enjoyable and provides me with a form of exercise.
  • I get more fresh air and exercise, and spend more time with my family.
  • I am a very keen gardener already but I don't have much space and want my son to help me more and learn about nature.
  • I build 2 veg boxes, a chicken run and planted some fruit trees for my grandma last year and really enjoyed it.

Cultivate project

People taking part in the Cultivate project reported that they learnt new ways to interact with local food growing initiatives (Connect), they feel that growing food has contributed to a healthier lifestyle and improved fitness level (Be Active), they have achieved something worthwhile and enjoyed themselves (Take Notice), have learnt new facts and developed new skills (Keep Learning) and given back to community (Give). 

Partners

The main partners have been:

Prospects Panels in Great Harwood, Huncoat, Baxenden, Clayton, Church and Rishton who have helped give advice for potential sites, introduce to groups and site development.

Community Groups such as Friends of Milnshaw Park, Friends of Huncoat Train Station, Rosebank Community Garden, Accrington Business and Residents Together, Clayton Hall Allotment group, Meadoway Allotment Association, Norden Allotment Association, One Planet Planter and Hyndburn Disability Forum who have helped promote and develop food growing projects and training.

Schools and Children’s Centres including Huncoat, Baxenden, Rishton Methodist, St Mary’s, Springhill and St Mary Magdelaine Primary Schools, Hollins and Accrington Academy secondary schools, Whiteash and Broadfield special schools and Huncoat, Rishton and Great Harwood Children’s Centres where food growing areas and educational activities have been developed.

The project contributing to the “Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Food and Nutrition Action Plan Key Performance targets in relation to food growing” produced by the Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Food Web, chaired and convened by the PCT.