We’ve recently had a development that supports our desire to press forwards with expanding our project. We have for some years tried to work with small allotments and over the years it has become clear that whilst they are valuable they are not the most accessible resource for those with mobility issues and can even restrict social inclusion. One of our key barriers is getting people to understand that disabled people can garden.
However, barriers to social inclusion has recently again been an issue and so our founders have taken the decision that to reach out to and be inclusive to everyone within the whole community of Rotherham and to make a significant contribution towards addressing multiple deprivation cycles, the community farm route is the best way forwards. This has been further evidenced as we joined a food partnership group in November.
Just a quick update as we are making a few changes within our project.
We are looking to move on from the allotment scenario to be more socially inclusive as we have experienced barriers to social inclusion via this route. We have this month joined the a local food for people in crisis network so we look forward to being able to contribute towards their work.
We have in the last few days received funding for our horticulture work. We are now looking towards adding education and training to our project
The new website is a priority for us and we are looking at expanding our project to incorporate some new activities. Events will play a very important part in the coming year. Finally we have a meeting next week to incorporate our project as a CIO.
Its been a very quiet summer for us. We are now awaiting the start of the new term so that we can get going with new clients and new groups. We are still looking to expand on our horticulture work. I am exploring for some exciting fundraising opportunities and I am busy working on our new website. We will soon have some new volunteer opportunities available.
We are having the busiest summer that we have had since we founded Feed Our Communities in 2012. There aren’t any time for holidays for us. 🙂
This month we are busy with finalising arrangements for a host of activities including: new education and training opportunities, marketing, social activities and events all for the new academic year.
We are now able to have our original bright colourful logo, redesigned and edited so that we can keep the logo with the name Feed Our Communities. We encountered problems last year with the original template and we were forced to have a new logo but this hasn’t been as popular. However, we have found someone that can redesign it with our current name Feed Our Communities (we began as Feed the Community). We are also hoping to have our new website up and running in the coming weeks.
We have a new bid writing service coming up within the next 2 weeks to organisations that require funding but may wish to have help sourcing funding.
Rotherham Show will also soon be upon us at the beginning of September, so we are making final preparations for that and have requested use of a smoothie bike to raise money. We ran a very successful fundraiser in 2013 with a Smoothie Bike and would like the opportunity to do this again.
We also look forward to welcoming our new clients within the new academic year and again we are making final preparations for that.
We’ve just received funding within the last 24 hours for 2 more allotments, which we can now actively pursue ready for September. We are also putting plans together to incorporate housing ad training / education into our project, so at the moment we are looking at 3 types of deprivations.
We’ve got 4 new client referrals for a September start so I am very busy coordinating these across all sites.
I have our latest update, which is not quite food focused. The focus of our project is not moving away from food as such but is looking at incorporating other deprivations, so that we can further highlight multiple deprivation cycles. We are actively following opportunities to incorporate training and education and social housing into our project.
In terms of our allotments we are expanding this further and have applied for relevant funding to do this.
For our March- April 2016 update, we have some very exciting things happening. pursuing the set up our first smallholding, a step up from the allotment scenario, having been made aware of a possible suitable and available site.
We are searching for someone who would like to build a website for us, possibly as part of a project / academic piece and are advertising for this. I have started approaching local colleges as a possible route but anyone interested can contact me.
With our allotment work coming together, I have campaigned hard lately to expand further and go beyond responding to poverty and deprivation cycles and also emphasise the importance of social inclusion which can be achieved through those extra activities and services that we can provide. So I am also looking at sailing, games clubs, drama groups and any other ideas that people can think of.
Due to the development the food poverty aspect of our project we are looking at introducing new services and activities. We have also decided to launch a bid writing service within our area in order to:
1.) Provide support to other groups
2.) Generate income to reduce reliance on funding.
We have also been informed of a gap in the provision to for benefit claimants of some basic skills courses locally, which we are also looking to fulfil and it will bring in more service users and client referrals. We are looking for funding in this area as we seek to recruit trainers, although I begin a Education and Training Teaching course this week so that I too will be eligible to assist in the area of teaching.
Fundraising and marketing are now a significant focus for us this year.
If you wish to have more information please let me know.
We also learned in December that we will find out shortly after 18th January if we have a new office within which we will offer further volunteer opportunities and seek to bring in new employees.