The Growing Communities Project is a partnership between The Conservation Volunteers and Adur & Worthing Council. We successfully applied to the Big Lottery Fund and have been granted £660,000 to run the project over an initial three years.
Our bid said “The Growing Communities Project will radically transform the health and happiness of individuals in disadvantaged coastal community areas of Adur and Worthing. We want people to be more in control of their lives and actively engaged in the decisions and actions that affect them. This will lead to a better quality of life, where early action prevents more costly consequences, both in social and financial terms.”
Growing Communities wishes to achieve four ultimate goals:
People learn to make lasting changes to improve their health and reduce illness
People’s confidence and self-esteem increases as a result of their efforts
People are proud of their community and the place they live in
Better quality green spaces better used by a greater diversity of people
The Growing Communities Project will be informed by local need and it is therefore hard to predict the exact nature of the activities. These could be a local food growing programme, a space for local children and their parents/caregivers to learn about the outdoor environment or a Green Gym where local people of all ages and backgrounds can improve their health and wellbeing.
Current activities such as Green Gyms, gardening groups and community walks have enabled participants to learn practical skills such as project planning and marketing and publicity and conservation skills including woodland maintenance and seasonal planting.
But TCV’s focus is on making a sustainable difference in the areas in which we work. The Growing Communities Project has clear outcomes and timescales which can be achieved through a commitment to transferring skills, building confidence and the creation of new connections within the community.
Where appropriate these connections will be developed into new community groups focusing on specific solutions that address local needs. The sustainability of such groups will be a key aspect of their development, with TCV supporting local champions who can be given the confidence and skills to take long-term roles in groups that are run by the community for the community. This would allow us to be confident that the impact of our work will continue to benefit the health and wellbeing of the local community for many years to come.
For any more information about the project or to get involved please contact us.