Category Archives: Volunteering

Volunteering at our community allotment: INTO transforms our south plot

A lot of great things have been happening at our Organic Community Allotment this spring.  A group of seventeen staff members from INTO marketing department joined us on April 4th, as a day for working in the Community and for Team-building.  The photos show some of their hard work that has helped transform the newest of our three allotments.

Every year, INTO helps thousands of young people from around the world to study at a leading university working together with university partners, providing specialist degrees and pathway programmes.

If you would like to get involved  come along on Sundays (11am – 1pm). Efforts are rewarded with a share of whatever produce is available and this allotment is very productive. Come and visit!

Pollinator Workshop Sunday April 22

Team Pollinate 22 April Workshop

 

Scientists at the University of Sussex are looking for growers in Brighton & Hove to help them learn more about food grown across the city.

Approximately one fifth of the world’s food is grown in urban areas, yet we know surprisingly little about how it is produced. That’s why citizen-science project, Team PollinATE, is working with growers in Brighton & Hove to collect data on which insects pollinate crops in urban areas, how much food small city growing spaces such as gardens and allotments can provide, and the most common pest control methods used by urban growers. The project has also partnered with scientists in India, who are working with urban growers in Kolkata to collect similar data and give a global view of urban food production.

The project launched in April last year, and already volunteers have collected lots of useful data. After attending a workshop on pollinator identification, throughout the summer of 2017 volunteers conducted quick pollinator counts in their growing spaces (surveying over 17, 000 flowers in total, and spotting 850 insects!), as well as keeping a diary of any pest control methods used. To help us quantify how much food people are producing across the city, some volunteers kept a record of the food they harvested, and by using our handy ‘Garden Shop Calculator’ could find out how much their produce was worth- on average volunteers grew an impressive £425 worth of food last year, with some volunteers ‘saving’ up to £900 by growing their own.

This year the project is open to anyone who grows their own food, be that in an allotment, garden, window box or community growing space. So, if you’d like to learn how to identify bees and other pollinators, why not visit our website and register yourself as a volunteer or come along to our next pollinator workshop at the BHOGG plot (11-1pm, Weald Allotments- all welcome!). You’ll receive a pack with more information on how to participate and monthly updates on the findings.

For more information, visit our website http://www.teampollinate.co.uk or email Team Pollinate co-ordinator, Beth Nicholls info@teampollinate.co.uk.

Winter at the allotment

Things have been pretty quiet on the allotment over the winter.  Still some hardy souls come along regularly enjoy the peace and tranquillity at the site. And we were treated with some spectacular scenes with the snow.

A gale-force rainy day compelled us to relocate our annual outdoor Winter Solstice celebration to the warmth and comfort of Alan’s house.  Mulled wine was sipped, delicious soup and cakes were consumed and carols were sung while the rain pelted the window.

CakeXmas

Now spring is here we are looking forward to the regular Sunday sessions 11-1pm at the Weald Allotment site.  For more details about how to get there click here.

 

‘Sow and Grow’ Gardening Volunteer opportunity – Marlets in Hove

Want to make a difference?

‘Sow and Grow’ is a weekly gardening group for patients and carers which promotes a feeling of purpose and a sense of achievement, through tending, cultivating and harvesting plants. Our purpose built raised bedding area allows patients to connect with nature in a relaxing and accessible environment helping to improve general health and well-being with gentle exercise, fresh air and creativity. The group is also used as a safe space where patients can connect and develop friendships or chat about any concerns they may have with a trained nurse.

Where: Martlets Hospice, Wayfield Avenue, Hove, BN3 7LW

When: Every Thursday 10.30am-1.30pm

Usual minimum commitment: Three hours per week OR fortnight for a 6 month period from 12th April to 27th Sept 2018. Our preference is a weekly commitment but if you have the skills we are looking for, we would be interested in you volunteering on a fortnightly basis

 What you’ll be doing:

  • Greeting Day Service users and assisting with mobility
  • Helping to set up gardening equipment
  • Working with the group lead to coordinate gardening activities
  • Chatting to attendees and updating the group lead as appropriate
  • Serving refreshments during the break
  • Helping to clear up at the end of the session
  • Watering the flower beds

What’s in it for you:

  • Opportunity to be part of a friendly group
  • Making a positive difference to patients and carers by helping them to feel at home and enjoy the sessions
  • Introduction to basic horticultural skills – or if you are a gardener, a chance to share your knowledge with the group (gardening knowledge is not essential to this role)
  • Support and supervision in your role
  • Chance to enjoy the fresh air and the Martlets garden

  Your skills and abilities:

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Empathetic nature and an understanding of palliative care (although some training can be given)
  • Friendly and approachable
  • Happy to get involved in gardening tasks (some lifting and moving will be required)
  • Good sense of humour

 Expectations:

  • To attend fortnightly sessions ideally for the duration of the project (6 months)
  • Wear appropriate outdoor clothing
  • To maintain confidentiality in accordance with Martlets guidelines
  • To attend a Martlets Welcome Day
  • To attend a half day training session on palliative care

Contact: People Services Team
Email: peopleservices@martlets.org.uk
Tel: 01273 718788

Summer at our community allotment

We had a fruitful summer at the allotment.  A bumper harvest meant that we were able to pick and donate over a ton of local, organic apples to Fareshare, who distribute food to vulnerable groups in Sussex.  A vital organisation ideally suited to distributing gluts of produce.

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Nikki  with Apples on their way to Fareshare
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Alan with heritage organic apples ranging from Ashmead’s Kernel to Rosemary Russet.
The lavender harvest

We were delighted to welcome our newest member Ivy!

Our summer culminated with the autumn equinox picnic.  Delicious delights from our summer harvest plus, of course, Barbara’s amazing baking (every week she brings something incredible for us to eat!).
Every Sunday our Organic Community Allotment welcomes new visitors between 11 and 1 pm.

‘Citizen Scientists’ volunteering opportunity

Phoenix Community Centre, Thursday 16th November,  7pm-9pm

Scientists from the University of Sussex will be talking about how pollinating insects are vital to the production of many of the foods we grow in our gardens and allotments.  Team Pollinate are looking for allotment growers in Brighton & Hove to volunteer to become ‘Citizen Scientists‘ and help us learn more about which insects are pollinating the food we grow. The data will help scientists understand more about pollinator behaviour and how best to protect these important insects.

Events are free to members, £3 donation to non-members

Meet at Phoenix Community Centre, 2 Phoenix Place, Brighton, BN2 9ND.

 

Phoenix Organic Gardening Club

Phoenix Organic Gardening Club

Phoenix Community Centre, 2 Phoenix Pl, Brighton BN2 9ND

Join us on the third Saturday of each month:

Dates:

May 20 (Open Day 11-4); June 17; July 15; Aug 19; Sept 16; Oct 21; Nov 18; Dec 16;

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Come and join us [rain or shine] from 2-4pm for fun, fellowship and fruitfulness. Help us restore and maintain the secret garden for the benefit of Community Centre users, members of the local community and ourselves.

Come and meet fellow gardeners, both experts and novices. Bring your enthusiasm, wisdom, ideas and company; hone and share your skills, make new friends, and grow good food.

Over the next couple of months we are planning to plant some bulbs for early spring colour, pot up some seedlings of seasonal salads, happily harvest, tidy up, and make plans for the year ahead.

Do you have any unwanted small shrubs or climbers: shade tolerant and preferably evergreen and/or winter flowering that you would like to donate to the project? Ring Ruth 01273 681120.