Just Let Your Soul Grow

Sunderland

Your story

Just Let Your Soul Grow is a Community Garden which encourages active involvement in the garden and the community and promotes emotional and physical well being.

Group introduction

Just Let Your Soul Grow developed out of Thrift Don't Throw CIC in September 2017 when we were offered an existing garden which had disabled access, sheds and a polytunnel. The group has a planning committee made up of local people and organises regular opening hours and daily upkeep of the garden. Families come to get involved in sowing, planting, digging and enjoyment of the garden. There is a particular interest in welcoming young people with learning difficulties. all ages are welcome from babies to retired residents. We are equally happy for people who can teach us or people who we can teach to come. Links have been made with a local youth project, a mental health project and a carers centre. We organise one themed day a month so far we have had Halloween, Christmas, New Year digging, building the fairy garden, Mental Health Awareness Day and junk modelling. There are plans for den making, archaelogical dig and tall ships modelling. Surprisingly the autumn and winter sessions have attracted the biggest numbers up to 40 people a day. The key volunteers promote the facility, help in daily maintenance, organise events and generally ensure the success of the garden. Whilst we have up to 25 regular members and a further 30 supporters our biggest challenge is ensuring the message is clear that young people with learning diffculties become active in the garden. The key aims are community involvement, interaction, education, healthy eating, exercise and improved mental and physical health.

How would this funding have an impact on your community?

If we were successful we would use the money to buy essential things which it is hard to achieve by donations. We rely heavily on donations of seeds, plants, compost, water , watering cans and other items. we find the community very supportive and glad to give us things they no longer require.

However we still need a small shed to house a disabled toilet , tools for repairs and small building and supplies of top soil.
Small shed £250. Hammers, saws, cordless drill, £160. Top soil 2 tons £120.
All of the above would ensure the garden was able to function for the benefit of all. Currently we have a portable toilet housed in a shed which is too big and could be put to better use, all the tools would be used by experienced or trained volunteers the top soil would ensure the raised beds were all usable currently there 2 which are not used as we have no soil for them. The impact would be huge for the current users and would enable residents who have disabilities to become involved.
I estimate 50 existing members and users would be helped and a further 50 including people with disablities.

"I love it here I sowed lettuce seeds and planted potatoes, now they are growing. I have tried the lettuce and cant wait for the potatoes to be ready.
I have already showed someone else how to sow seeds and before I didn't even know how to do it.
Grace young volunteer age 9"

For more information visit:

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facebook.com/justletyoursoulgrowTDT