Category Archives: uncategorized

Community Fund – School Food Matters – October update

On Thursday October 5th 2017, 62 primary school children set up shop under the arches of Borough Market for the Harvest Sale to sell their fantastic autumnal produce they had grown from seed. There were plenty of pumpkins, chard, apples and pears for eager customers to buy and included a special visit from the Mayor of Southwark and BBC London news. All proceeds made on the day, £528.97, went to food waste charity FareShare which will enable them to distribute 2115 meals to vulnerable families across the capital.

Leading up to sale day, students were taught the art of growing veg from seed with gardener Chris Collins and learnt tips from Borough Market traders on how to create a successful stall. The students also had an eye-opening visit to the FareShare depot in London. One teacher from a Southwark school said:

“Working with FareShare showed children at our school the scale of the food waste problem. Many expected to see piles of rotting veg – not perfectly good food.”

Community Fund – Broomhouse – August update

Our regular groups have been well attended over the summer term.

We offered the second group of taster sessions of our new Mindfulness Group at Whinpark Medical Centre; these were well attended. We are developing this project in partnership with local GP’s.

We have had our regular range of physical activities and also offered Evening Cooking sessions this term. Also daytime groups with Parents and children at ‘Cooking up a Story’.    Baby’s First Food Weaning Sessions is ongoing and has had a visit from one of their funders ‘The Womens Fund in Scotland’.

The popular Chair Exercise had a great turn out for its end of term celebration.

We are now well underway with ‘Summer in Broomhouse 2017’ Programme in partnership with local organisations – The Big Project and St David’s Church.

The activities throughout the holidays are for local children/ adults and family groups with Games and Sports, Outings to Places of Interest, Band Camp, Youth Hub, Splash Day, Theatre School, Outdoor family exercise and Buggy Gym for Mums and Babies, , Bookbus and Cooking with Kids, Junior Disco, Concerts and we round off the summer hols with the ‘Broomhouse Street Party’ with more activities, entertainments and stalls on 11th August 11am-3pm and everyone is welcome.

We closed the shop for the first two of weeks in July  so the Volunteers and Staff could have a well  deserved holiday and we’ve had a ‘Volunteers Summer Day Out’ at the end of July to Portobello to say thankyou for all their support through the year.  We are planning now for our new terms in the Autumn with a new exercise class being developed for our Adult Women.

Community Fund – LKYPG – July Update

The Lower Kersal Young Peoples Group have been working tirelessly on the plot, and the advantage of a few sunny days have helped us immensely!

We recently had a rhubarb day, in which the group harvested and then gave away the produce to members of the community, and local groups.

We have also been involved in a swap and share day, which many people attended. The members of the community were invited to come and see what we have been working on, and even get a bottle of our home made smoothie! Which they thoroughly enjoyed!

Overall, we continue to grow as a plot, and are almost ready for what is shaping up to be a bountiful harvest!

Community Fund – Lauder Trading Post – August Update

Our Autumn schedule has began to get into full swing, we hosted felting classes for local carers and support workers, local RNIB volunteers are using it to develop new activities for those with visual impairments. We also launched some new weekend Crafting Kids sessions starting to look forward to spring. Numbers are also starting to build in our community gardening, machine sewing and furniture recycling groups for excluded community members.

Community Fund – Flor de la Amazonia Group – August Update

FDLA August PicHello, again, from the jungle of Ecuador!


We have had a few visitors this month – some human with some other vertebrate friends and a smattering of invertebrate and plant friends in attendance (understatement……………), also.


David Jackson, biologist, ecologist and Andean Spectacled Bear expert, joined us earlier in the month. He opened (re-opened) some of the paths on and around the land – they grow over very rapidly in the heat and humidity around here – in the process identifying another species of bird seen for the first time on the land – a Crimson Mantled Woodpecker. Continue reading

Community Fund – Royal Edinburgh Community Gardens – July Update

What a great month in the gardens! We’ve had a host of important guests, new groups, our wonderful regular volunteers and so much fresh produce that everyone is going home with bags full of vegetables they have grown together.


Firstly we would like to say a big thank you to Kezia Dugdale MSP, Alison Johnstone MSP, Councillor Gavin Corbett and Dick Fitzpatrick NHS Lothians for showing great support after the news of the relocation. All  taking time out of their busy schedules to meet in the gardens to discuss the future plans and relocation of our site. Continue reading

Community Fund – Lauder Trading Post – July Update

We have successfully piloted our new Stitched Up project giving unemployed under 25’s a chance to try sewing skills and gain experience of small manufacturing business. The project will launch 1 day per week from September with 2 young people progressing as volunteer supporters. They have also been registered for Saltire Volunteer Awards – we will keep you posted. Our other youth group Upcycle is continuing to build interest and skills.  Our new autumn schedule is just being published and a busy Autumn with craft festivals and fairs to attend.

Community Fund – Flor de la Amazonia Group – June Update

The base for the new Conservation Centre is 15 kilometres from the small town of Mera, which itself is 15 kilometres from the larger town/city of Puyo here in the Oriente of Ecuador where the organisation is currently based. In order to reach the land, a wee adventure is usually required – catching the local bus from Puyo to Shell (another town half-way between Puyo and Mera – can you figure out why it has the name Shell?). Then a camioneta (open-backed taxi) is taken from Shell to Mera. Thereafter, if you are able, a lift is picked up if someone is driving in, else you may have to pay for another camioneta, or it is possible to walk the 15 kilometres to the project site. Continue reading

Community Fund – Rhubarb Farm – February Update

We have battled the weather in February with snow, frost and bitter cold. However, work has continued, as construction of paths, raised beds and a chicken run was done even if horticultural activities were difficult. More volunteers with substance misuse and mental health issues are now being referred, so site is busier too.
At the end of February we heard that we have been awarded a tender to provide informal training and support into employment for ex-offenders. This award will provide us with 2 days a week towards the cost of continuing to employ one of our ex-offender workers, Luke Kelly. This is great news as he has proved a great role model and will be able to mentor the ex-offenders as part of this GREEN CHANCES project. We shall be seeking funding to cover the rest of his salary, so we keep him full-time.