From our inception in 2010 our main objective has been to help as many people as possible to enjoy the many benefits that come from learning to grow your own food.
What has changed in that time is our appreciation of how wide ranging those benefits could be and what changes they could help bring about.
Our regeneration initiatives have transformed overgrown and under used pieces of land which were attracting anti-social behaviour and converted them into community growing spaces but along the way we’ve drawn beneficiaries together to feel part of their community, helped them develop a pride in what they have achieved and provided opportunities for them to socialise together.
We’ve helped many beneficiaries to have a go at growing their own food for the first time and shown them how they could contribute to improving their own mental and physical health by engaging in an activity that they enjoy and by growing food that they know is healthy.
We’ve saved people money at a time when many of our beneficiaries are finding their finances are being stretched to the limit and by allowing them to contribute towards feeding their own families by growing their own food or accessing the free food growing wild around the District.
We’ve also worked with schools, helping teachers to use food growing as an effective medium for developing life skills and confidence amongst pupils and linking the learning to the school curriculum.
Through our work we have come to realise how much our activities help members of what is, according to the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019, a socially and economically disadvantaged community.
According to the index, a common benchmark of district-level deprivation relative to elsewhere in the country, Wakefield is, out of 317 districts, the 54th most deprived in England.
34% of our district’s neighbourhoods are in the top-20% most deprived in England and the main beneficiaries of Grow Wakefield live in some of those greatest areas of deprivation and poverty.
Growing our Impact
Our main purpose is to provide our beneficiaries with opportunities for improved wellbeing through growing, learning and volunteering by creating community allotments, gardens and workshops across the district but we are only able to achieve our aims with the help of a range of external stakeholders.
Becoming a charitable enterprise and developing stronger relationships with our stakeholders in each of the following sectors will help develop new income streams and in return deliver additional and greater public benefit impacts for our beneficiaries over the next 3 years and beyond.
You can read our Business and Growth Plan 2021 – 23 here.
Our unique selling point to our community partners is that, as a community based initiative, we can engage with them to identify underused pieces of land, often overgrown or the subject of anti-social behaviour, and work with local residents to transform them into attractive community gardens incorporating mini allotment plots.
To date we have worked with the following partners across the district:
Grant Providers and Funders
We have so far been granted over £100,000 from providers and funders in this sector and income continues to increase, up to £15,500 in 2020.
The following organisations have awarded funds to the organisation to date, a number with repeat grants
Our website has always had a schools resources section and initially we worked with a handful of schools in the vicinities of our community allotments but in 2018 we established our Wakefield district schools network and have since developed it from merely a Facebook group to a support group of teachers, teaching assistants and parents interested in developing their schools Learning Outside the Classroom (LOTC) offer.
This has subsequently led to commissions from schools to manage their school allotment garden and deliver LOTC initiatives.
In 2012 we established a local food directory on our website, primarily as a way of us encouraging support for local food related businesses, but as our following on social media has grown we are starting to develop our local businesses relationships, sharing their promotions on social media and receiving significant donations of equipment and resources in return.