Idea 1: Southend-in-Transition Community Allotment: WINNER!

We want to set up a community allotment with you where we can meet, grow, eat and treat each other with respect and have a good time. We will use an allotment plot to create a community plot where local residents can come to learn growing skills, interact with each other and nature, save money by taking organic produce home and maybe start growing at home or take on their own plot when they have the confidence.

Currently there are four of us, who are at the start of the journey of learning how to grow our own food and work together to meet new people and spend time in an enjoyable way. We will continue to drive this project so you can join in as much or as little as you can afford or have time to. Everyone is welcome.

This idea is important as people ache for community. Due to the way we live now it is hard to make new connections so we hope our project will bring people together; especially those who are isolated. People love to eat fresh, tasty food which is affordable. We hope that by giving them access to the growing skills, equipment and space we can make it easier for everyone to access that food -especially if we are on low income. People feel better in nature. The plot will be their chance to interact with the soil, plants and animals (mostly earthworms), and work up a sweat which will improve their mental health and physical well being. On top of it all, we believe in the Power of Just Doing Stuff and Little Steps and meeting together, growing food in an organic way and preparing it together contributes to reducing the risk of runaway Climate Change and builds resilience against Peak oil and Financial Crisis.

How funding would help: we use reclaimed, donated and recycled materials as much as we can, but we need to pay for the plot’s rent, insurance for our organisation and materials, so it would be encouraging to know that people want to chip in as currently we do not have any funding. In the future we hope to apply for grants to further our work. Even if the funding today goes to another lovely project we welcome contributions of your time, tools, seeds or the occasional forwarded message or Like on Facebook to spread the message.

Six months from now; we might have conquered the world by then with our locally grown cabbage and kale! We hope to have a shed where we can hide from rain over a cup of tea, paths which are wide and walkable whatever the weather and have put in some beds to start growing and learning new skills with local people. We will have an organisation in place to manage our plot to make sure the work gets done and people can work in a safe and structured environment.

Idea 2: Santa Gifts for Foodbank Families

I’m involved in a foodbank project in Shoebury, SHARE (Shoeburyness Help and Resource Enterprise), and we provide support and advice as well as food to families living in the SS3 postcode.

This idea is important as we’re supporting well over 100 families now, including about 250 children, and we want to give the kids a christmas party this year.  We have a Santa Claus already and I’m being pressed into Elf duty,

How funding would help We’d like to give the kids a small present each, so they have *something* to open.  Nothing fancy – we’re not talking Playstations or anything – but just a little present to open at the party as a treat from Santa.  Because we rely totally on donations we’re trying to source funding to be able to buy the small presents; we get the occasional monetary donation at the moment but it’s used towards buying things like nappies which we don’t get donated by the public, and so we’re trying to identify small pots of money we could put towards this.

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