Funding For New Urban Micro-Farm Leaders in Folkestone

A Custom Food Lab project has received a grant of £5,000 from Kent Community Foundation to kickstart a district wide ‘Patchwork Farm’

Custom Food Lab applied to Kent Community Foundation for funding to cover the salary of a Community Food Growing Trainer to deliver workshops and volunteer sessions about permaculture and organic food growing practices and empower diverse future community food growers to lead new urban micro-farm spaces across the local area as part of a ‘patchwork farm’.

Cherry Truluck-Halpin, Custom Food Lab, said, “The NFA report Growing Food in Cities said: ‘In the UK, many poor urban neighbourhoods have become food retailing deserts, where access to good food shops and markets is rare. We have lost contact with the land and with the way food is produced.’ This is absolutely the case for the most deprived areas of Folkestone, but our community is resourceful and creative – we want to inspire people to get growing on every available scrap of land in town and collectively build a patchwork farm.”

“We know that intergenerational activity is beneficial for  reducing isolation, improving mental health and bringing valuable learning experiences and our workshops will bring together a mix of people from the local community including those living in care homes, commercial growers, local gardeners, and children in a  “Community Knowledge Share” session to build the knowledge and confidence of those who will ultimately create the ‘patchwork farm.’

“The Kent Community Foundation grant will enable us to deliver support and skills training, improve employability and aspirations, (particularly among young people) and allow local families to grow food together and sustainably feed themselves. The grant will also help us support the local economy, educate people about environmental issues, and take a major step in eradicating food insecurity in Folkestone.”

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation said, “We recently launched an Environmental Strategy, and this is one  of the first projects to be awarded a grant from our Fund for the Environment. The project area is one of the  most deprived in the county and there is a recognised need for the community to understand that localised food production and food knowledge are intrinsically linked to a better future. Custom Food Lab’s project to develop interconnected growing spaces will benefit some of the most disadvantaged and isolated members of the community and we look forward to seeing the ongoing results.”

To contact Kent Community Foundation call, 01303 814500 or visit

About Custom Food Lab

Custom Food Lab is a collective of people including artists, designers, researchers, growers, and activists who are passionate about where food comes from and how it’s grown.

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 twenty years. In this time, it has distributed over £50 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-seven 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 eighty 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.