Thanks to almost £10,000 from the Coalfields Community Investment Programme, South Derbyshire CVS is expanding its volunteering service with the launch of a new horticulture project.
Founded in 1996, the registered charity delivers support to individuals in need and assists voluntary groups and communities to make a difference in South Derbyshire and the surrounding area.
With a total fund of £9,936, South Derbyshire CVS will launch the ‘Sharing Spaces’ project, which will train a group of local volunteers to grow fresh produce, working in the gardens of local older or disabled residents who struggle to maintain them.
Based in the Gresley area, the project will offer volunteers the chance to learn and develop new skills, interact with other members of the community and make a positive contribution to society.
The experience will also be used to develop transferable skills that can support each person to look for employment opportunities.
Kerrie Fletcher, CEO, comments: “With this funding we are able to extend our voluntary services and provide local residents with the opportunity to make a positive impact to the communities they call home.
“Training in horticulture will not only help them to learn new skills, but it will also have a social and wellbeing benefit as the volunteers and garden ‘hosts’ can interact and communicate with one another in an open and friendly environment, working outdoors
“The generosity of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust allows us to create a better quality of life for those who desperately need our support and bring local people of all ages together to make a real difference to their lives.”
Development Manager for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Lynn Utting, comments: “South Derbyshire CVS goes above and beyond to deliver vital services to the community. Without initiatives like this some people would have no interaction with others.
“Creating inclusive and educational projects like ‘Sharing Spaces’ has an enormous impact on the health and wellbeing of the local residents as it gives them a new purpose and something to work towards.
“Despite the positive impact this may have, we know all too well that much more work needs to be done before we see real social and economic growth within these communities. That is why we are calling on government to create a dedicated Coalfield Investment Fund, so we can finally deliver lasting change for future generations.”
As South Derbyshire CVS has become a member of Coalfield Community Investment Programme it will continue to be supported by the Trust and will receive bespoke practical support that includes everything from access to resources and services such as help with third-party funding applications and bid-writing, to tips on effective promotion and marketing.
The Coalfields Community Investment Programme supports organisations and programmes of activity that meet with three key criteria; to address skills, employment or health and wellbeing through funding support and a free practical support service.
Over the years it has helped more than 2m people. More than 25,500 people have been supported into work, 5,500 jobs have been created or safeguarded, 1.3m people have received the necessary support to help improve their skills and gain qualifications and over 250,000 people have participated in activities that have improve their health.