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Hi <<First Name>> and welcome to our autumn newsletter!

Now that the days are getting shorter and winter is on its way you may be tempted to think that we put the field to bed for the winter. But there is no such thing at Communigrow! We are still harvesting and tending autumn/winter vegetables and planting and sowing for next year’s crops. There is a sense of looking forward with optimism to the future, to new opportunities and to welcoming more young people to join us. It is such a pleasure to watch them grow in confidence, self-esteem and skills.

We have welcomed yet more volunteers recently and I am amazed at the skills and knowledge they bring both on and off the field. We have adjusted our working practices to make the site as Covid safe as we can. With the uncertainty that Brexit and Covid bring it is more important than ever for us to be able to supply fresh, local and chemical-free produce and to offer opportunities to improve mental health. With every challenge comes opportunity and this is an opportunity to embed ourselves in the local community and to help young people facing life challenges. As we look ahead we can grow in resilience and confidence in our sustainability.

Helen Turner, Secretary and Trustee
RHS Five Star Award Gardening School at Communigrow
At the beginning of the year Communigrow earned the status of RHS Five Star Award Gardening School. This is the highest level of this RHS Campaign for School Gardening, a nationwide initiative that encourages and supports educational organisations to provide children with the opportunity to learn through gardening.
If you would like to find out more about it, continue reading here.
Update on our Home Education Programme
If you have been following us for some time now, you know that every year we organise hands-on sessions for young people in home education. This is a unique opportunity to be part of our educational activities and give children the chance to learn and appreciate nature, food and the world around them.
You can read our recent update here.
Thank you to everyone who has shown interest so far, we still have a few tickets remaining for our sessions between now and December:
Ages 4-6 (sold out, join the waiting list)
Video: A successful Open Day
Our Open Day on 3 October was a great event considering that the day began with rain and wind, which reduced the number of visitors in the morning. Luckily, the weather picked up and we were happy to meet some of you in the afternoon.

Highlights from the day included a workshop on 'How to take hardwood cuttings', a talk on 'Why you should eat seasonal veg', tours of the field and the amazing display of veggies harvested by volunteers the day before.  Visitors attended the workshops, had insightful conversations about growing food and took the best of the produce home. There were three one-hour sessions running throughout the day. Everyone followed social distancing and other measures in place respecting COVID-19 regulations.

The outcomes were really positive. Participants were impressed by the passion and commitment of our volunteers and the quality of conversations they had during the day. Some visitors came to our last Saturday sessions, joined the veg box scheme and/or started to volunteer with us. We raised over £180 through vegetable sales and donations will support our educational activities for adults and young people. Thank you for making this day so memorable, we hope to invite you again in the near future!
Veg Box Scheme
We are still preparing and selling our Vegetable Boxes, however with autumn in its peak, our vegetable selection is naturally smaller. This is something we had expected, now we are entering winter. We believe there are huge benefits to eating with the seasons; it is healthier and more environmentally-friendly. Moving forward our offer will include leeks, chard, kale, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, parsnips, potatoes and few more seasonal vegetables while we have enough produce.
Get in touch with us to order yours today.

Veg Box Recipes

We are excited to share with you another veg box recipe: Butternut Squash soup. Butternut Squash is one of the most common varieties of winter squash. It also offers a good supply of vitamin A, potassium, and fibre.
We would love to see you try this recipe so please tag us in your posts or send us your pictures.
We have been busy!
Over the past months the field has been transformed a lot. If you follow us on social media, you know that in recent weeks we have installed a canopy to protect education groups during wet days and New Earth Solutions kindly donated some compost to us in the middle of October. More recently we have finished building a log cabin that will protect us in winter, and a new greenhouse where we are planning to grow melons, watermelons and aubergines among many other vegetables. The Sensory Garden has been looked after by several volunteers and now looks very tidy, and there are also new paths making the field safer for rainy days. 
Quotes from Communigrowers:
“I have been volunteering for 2.5 months so still early days but I certainly enjoy working with different volunteers and enjoy discussing recipes and experiences. I look forward to my days at the field and particularly enjoy working together on mini projects for the next season.”
“Volunteering with Communigrow allowed me to focus on tasks and activities I enjoy the most. I am hopeful the experience at Communigrow will help me to build up my self confidence again and support my future career. Thanks to the volunteering I have started additional courses to expand my skillset and build up my experience in the field I enjoy. An additional bonus of the volunteering is the fact that I have met many friendly volunteers and felt a sense of belonging.”
Join our Volunteers Community today!
New opportunity: Youth Forum Volunteer
We are delighted to share with you a new opportunity available for an enthusiastic volunteer to manage the formation of our Communigrow Youth Forum. 
Person specification and more information is available here, please get in touch if you have any questions or are interested.
How do young people benefit from Communigrow?
We have recently launched our annual evaluation survey in which we were asking our beneficiaries about what they enjoy the most while being at Communigrow.
"I come out of my shell when out in the garden. I like doing new activities and make good progress in my learning."
Other ways to support us
We are a charity committed to promoting and teaching the benefits for people and local communities of growing local, fresh and affordable produce in an organic and sustainable way. Every vegetable box or donation is helping us to meet our mission of providing a broad variety of opportunities and activities using horticulture and social enterprise that educate, inspire and support young people and adults facing complex challenges across West Kent to improve their prospects for greater independence.
Are you shopping on Amazon for Christmas presents? A small percentage of what you pay can be donated to Communigrow at no additional cost.
We have prepared a short video explaining how to use it, click here to watch it now. Support local businesses this Christmas and help us in achieving our goals.
Money Giving
Do you follow us on our social accounts?
We share updates an opportunities regularly on our social media accounts, click on the links below to follow us and be up to date.
© 2020 Communigrow. All rights reserved. Communigrow is a registered Charity No: 1159534

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Communigrow · Volunteer Coordinator · 1 Wesley Close · Barming, Kent ME16 9HT · United Kingdom

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