Our ‘Foodshare: Growing to Give’ allotment project was set up to provide a great volunteering opportunity for both staff and students at NTU! It gives everyone the chance to grow nutritious food while working with one of our local organic food specialists.
Half of the food grown by our volunteers is donated to local homelessness charity ‘The Friary’ to help us give back to our local community (charities often really struggle to get fresh organic produce as it’s expensive and isn’t donated to them very often due to its perishable nature). The other half, our volunteers can take away with them to help towards maintaining a healthy diet and saving money on their weekly shop!
Although the project is still relatively new we are pleased to say that our volunteer numbers and general engagement levels have increased year on year since its creation in 2014! We hope this will increase further when our new outdoor classroom is built next to Foodshare soon – so watch this space!
Our main aims for the Foodshare project are to:
- Reduce the spiralling food bills of charities.
- Produce locally grown, seasonal and fresh produce for those that will benefit the most from it.
- Reduce the food miles of charities.
- Promote the mental and physical health benefits of being outdoors, getting physical, being part of bigger change & meeting and connecting with people.
- Help foster an atmosphere of inclusivity, community and diversity by welcoming people from all backgrounds.
As well as being used by our volunteers, the Foodshare site is used by around seven different course leaders as part of their curriculum;
Case study 1: BA Primary Education – These sessions are used to teach the trainee primary school teachers how to teach basic gardening skills to children and how to run similar allotment projects in their future work place.
Case study 2: BSc Exercise, Nutrition and Health – Students on this course come to learn about the nutritional benefits of growing their own organic food and sustainable growing/eating habits.
Want to get involved?! Our free and flexible volunteering sessions currently take place every Wednesday during term time 1-3pm. Foodshare is located behind the Peverell Halls reception building on Clifton Campus.
Please contact the Environment Team for further details on firstname.lastname@example.org
-Thank you to Robyn Thompson, who is an Environmental Engagement Assistant in the NTU Environment Team and also a student at NTU studying Ecology and Environmental Management, for writing this blog post!
Want to write a blog post that’s featured on this site? Email us your ideas today at GreenAcademy@ntu.ac.uk!