A new Fund for the Environment, to be introduced as part of Kent Community Foundation’s recently launched Environmental Strategy, will enable the grant-maker to support the development of many local environmental projects including community gardens which nurture the environment and provide opportunities for local people to come together.
One community garden which is now thriving is The Limes near Ashford. The Limes Community Garden received a grant of £3,500 from Kent Community Foundation at the end of 2019 to kick-start a project to turn the land adjacent to Belgic Court on The Limes near Ashford, into a community garden. The grant helped to transform the wasteland by installing wheelchair accessible pathways, a wildlife pond and raised flower beds.
Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said, “Kent Community Foundation has awarded funding towards the development of community gardens over the last twenty years. Our new Fund for the Environment will allow us to support even more organisations running environmentally focused projects that deliver real social purpose. The fund is a key part of our new Environmental Strategy which focusses on our collective efforts to ‘Think global, act local’ alongside Kent and Medway organisations, and addresses social issues that are intertwined with challenges to our environment.
“The Limes is a great example of a valuable community resource. They have a group of regular volunteers aged from as young as two to 79, participate in the probation service’s ‘Community Payback’ scheme, as well as welcoming asylum seekers and mental health patients each week.”
The Limes Community Garden is situated in one of the most deprived areas in the south east of England. 43% of the properties are social housing and 38% of residents are either unemployed, or in low paid and unskilled work and this garden has created a much-needed meeting point in the area for the community to come together to socialise, learn about horticulture and grow their own food.
Heather Hayward, Limes Community Garden, said, “At the Limes Community Garden our strapline is “Growing a Community Through a Garden.” The garden is used as a vehicle to build community. The actual plants are secondary to that. It’s open to all ages and backgrounds and available to access for free. We’ve had people who live just a few doors from each other in the same street meet at the garden and become firm friends. We have a man on our team who is a carer for his elderly mother. He hates gardening but comes along every Saturday to do DIY jobs for us. It’s the highlight of his week. The transformation with those involved so far has been incredible and we’re expecting more to come!”
Kent Community Foundation’s new Fund for the Environment will launch later this year and will make more financial support available to environmental projects that protect, promote, and educate.
To find out more about Kent Community Foundation’s Environmental Strategy and Fund for the Environment visit, www. kentcf.org.uk/commitment-to-the-environment
Notes to Editors
Information from Limes Community Garden –
- Twenty regular volunteers attend the garden, from all over the local area (we even have a volunteer attending each week from Margate!!)
- Our youngest volunteer is 2 and our oldest is 79 years old.
- Between 6-12 young unaccompanied asylum seekers from Millbank reception centre attend every Wednesday afternoon. They have their own raised planter at the garden that they tend to.
- Two days a week we provide opportunities for ‘Community Payback’ with the probation service.
- 50+ eggs are given away every week to members of the local community, laid by our own free-range chickens. We will soon be adding our home-grown vegetables to the give away
- Six mental health patients attend with their support nurse each week. Two of them have now joined the regular volunteer group.
About Kent Community Foundation
Grant-maker Kent Community Foundation has been finding, funding, and supporting some of the smallest voluntary organisations in the county for 20 years. In this time, it has distributed over £40 million to support thousands of small charities and deserving causes where a modest sum of money can make a significant impact.
They are part of a UK wide accredited network of forty-six Community Foundations who are committed to improving the lives of local people and communities, particularly the most vulnerable, isolated, and disadvantaged by matching those who want to help, with those who need the help.
Responsible for more than 80 philanthropic funds, Kent Community Foundation is unrivalled in its knowledge of local causes and assists individuals, families, and businesses, who want to help, to establish and administer their own charitable funds.