Community support

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

Edible Elswick aims to raise capacity within the local community to get involved in growing and planting activities, increase pride and ownership of the local environment, break down barriers between communities and support healthy eating and lifestyles.
We do this by running events on 10 local estates; including Tidy Up and Plant days where we knock on people’s doors and get them out litter picking and cleaning up their estates, working in partnership with social housing providers and the local authority to remove bulky rubbish. We provide tools and plants to brighten up communal planters and borders and cook a healthy lunch for everyone involved. We support local residents to adopt planters or border near their house and with free compost, tools, seeds and plants as well as expert advice from Edible Elswick, they grow a little oasis of colour in their local neighbourhood. Every year we award prizes for the best kept community planters.
Four times a year we hold massive community events in Elswick Park where we bring together residents and volunteers from the 10 local estates to have fun, show off their successes and take part in healthy lifestyle activities. We always run a planting activity to encourage local residents to try growing at home.
We run a community garden in Elswick Park with a poly tunnel and growing beds where we grow plants for use on the estates and to give away at events. We have 14 plots for local primary schools so children can garden and learn where their fresh fruit and vegetables come from. We run gardening and cookery groups for women and girls every week where they can learn how to grow edible plants in the community garden and then cook with them in our community kitchen. Last year we built an outdoor wood fired pizza oven to make our own pizzas from fresh produce - we even grow our own wheat.
Edible Elswick encourages community and individual’s resilience by encouraging independence and developing supportive neighbourhood networks. We reduce loneliness, isolation and exclusion by holding community events on estates and in the park where people can meet up, take part in activities and make new friends. We help people to regain confidence by training them in gardening and supporting them to take an active part in their own communities, demonstrating and encouraging their neighbours to take part. We also improve physical and emotional wellbeing by encouraging people to exercise by gardening and growing, cooking and eating fresh fruit and vegetables. We provide seeds, recipes and instructions for growing and cooking everything from potatoes, tomatoes and salad crops to mooli, Chinese pumpkins and Duggi.
In this age of austerity where local families, both in and out of work, are supporting their families through food banks, we provide the knowledge and skills to grow your own dinner and cook it providing cheap, sustainable and nutritious meals.
Elswick is one of the most diverse wards in Newcastle, as winners of the National Diversity Awards in 2013 and the European Diversity Awards in 2014 we are skilled at engaging with all the local community, building bridges through activities, supporting and encouraging conversations between individuals, groups and estates to increase understanding and unity.
If we were successful in the Aviva Community Fund we would use the money to employ 2 local part-time gardeners to support the 50 local volunteers out on the 10 local estates and provide money for compost, seeds and plants to provide a cleaner and greener area, making Elswick Newcastle’s garden neighbourhood.
In 2016 Edible Elswick ran 8 Tidy up and Plant estate days and 6 community events in Elswick Park, working with a total of 673 local people. If you vote for us we can continue to provide community events, encouraging more people to get involved and making our area a happier, healthier and safer place to live.

Project Video

West End Women and Girls Centre

Moment of Pride

Elswick is one of the most disadvantaged wards in the city and the country - it has a reputation. Edible Elswick gives local residents the compliance and tools to grow flowers, fruit and veg a cohesive community that looks good and feels safe.

Location: Newcastle upon Tyne