Project encourages people to grow their own fruit and vegetables

PUBLISHED: 11:30 01 June 2018 | UPDATED: 11:39 01 June 2018

Master gardening training in Swaffham. Picture: Garden Organic

Master gardening training in Swaffham. Picture: Garden Organic


A new project has been launched to encourage local communities to grow their own fruit and vegetables and to share their skills.

The Family Action ESCAPE allotment in Swaffham. Picture: Garden OrganicThe Family Action ESCAPE allotment in Swaffham. Picture: Garden Organic

Led by charity Garden Organic, the scheme hopes to persuade people of all ages and backgrounds in Breckland and West Norfolk to grow their own produce at home, on allotments or community gardens, balconies and even in their work place.

People with gardening experience are also being recruited to become volunteer master gardeners - offering growing and gardening advice to people within their community.

The Growing Communities project is funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities and is working in partnership with Family Action - a charity providing support to those in poverty, disadvantaged and socially isolated - in Swaffham.

Becky Reavill, Growing Communities project co-ordinator, said: “A lot of people do not have the confidence to grow their own food and they don’t realise how easy and lovely it is.

“It is all about how simple it can be to plant a seed and watch it grow and to get to eat something at the end which is tasty and healthy.”

She added: “Gardening can be therapeutic and can help people with mental health issues or people with disabilities.

“It is all inclusive to everybody and can help people come out of their shells and to help others.”

The three-year project is hoping to build up a network of 50 volunteers.

People can take part by working on the Family Action managed ESCAPE allotment in Swaffham and by seeking advice from the network of gardeners built up through the Growing Communities project.

Keen gardeners or those will knowledge of how to grow fruit and vegetables can become master gardeners who can help others as well as engage in activities in communal gardens, residential homes or at schools.

Free training weekends are being held in Kings Lynn on Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10, and in Thetford in September.

For more information about becoming involved in the scheme, call Becky Reavill from Garden Organic on 07454 509692 or email

Visit Master Gardeners or Garden Organic for further information.

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