MP visits Lottery-funded Petworth Community Garden
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert visited the Petworth Community Garden earlier this month (Friday 6 September) to see how their recent National Lottery award will benefit residents and community groups.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the National Lottery. Last month, the National Lottery Community Fund announced it was awarding the Petworth Community Garden project with £178,000 over the next three years.
Mr Herbert met the charity’s founder Kate Green and two of the garden’s volunteers to see how the award will be used. The Lottery money will support the project becoming fully self-sufficient and will help to fund the expansion of the gardens so that they can welcome in more people.
Kate began the Community Garden project almost 15 years ago, inspired by a course she had attended which encouraged community gardening for growing organic food. Kate felt this would be especially helpful to local people with limited means and could give them access to free organic fruit and vegetables. The garden was developed from two overgrown allotments, and with a voluntary effort and hard work, they became thriving gardens again.
Today, the Petworth Community Garden is a place of therapy and education hosting a number of activity groups. It is also home to West Sussex’s first ‘Men’s Shed’ project. The garden is an inclusive site, with raised border beds and footpaths, welcoming all ages, abilities and needs.
The project’s founding ethos remains - of encouraging others to grow and eat organic food. The Garden’s ‘Plot to Plate’ cookery sessions demonstrate how the freshly harvested food can be turned into a nourishing lunch. The cookery sessions will soon be brought back ‘in-house’ with the expansion of the Garden’s shed and cooking facilities, directly powered by solar.
Mr Herbert enjoyed a tour of the site and hearing the personal stories of volunteers who have benefitted as a direct result of working in the Community Garden.
Kate said: “Petworth Community Garden is so thrilled to be successful in our recent Lottery bid. This fantastic support will help to keep all our projects running over the next 3 years and will stabilise our organisation to enable it to grow more sustainably into the future.
“We enjoyed showing Nick Herbert around and talking to him about our projects and participants. He appreciated just how nourishing a community-based social and therapeutic project can be, particularly to more isolated and lower-income members of our community and we are grateful for his support.”
Mr Herbert said: “I was very encouraged by what I saw and heard at the Petworth Community Garden. It is a brilliant project which is inspiring and helping a number of local people. Kate’s work has transformed many lives through the simple idea that it is good to eat what you grow.”
1. Photograph – Nick Herbert with Kate Green and Caroline Bianchi in the Petworth Community Garden.
2. To read more about the Petworth Community Garden see www.growingforall.org.uk.
3. The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded £319,194 to 4 community projects in the Arundel & South Downs constituency in the last three months.
4. To find out more about funding options for other community projects see www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding.