supported by
the Big Lottery Fund 2016-18

The Grown in Dagenham project on the Dagenham Farm started in January 2016 and ended in December 2018. The project built on the community outreach work we’ve done since the farm opened in 2012 –  and enabled us to work with local lone parents, residents, young people and students. Hundreds of local residents and young people benefited from learning how to grow food and cook food with others.  The Big Lottery's Reaching Communities Fund funded the project. We are delighted that many of our GID activities including the Wednesday volunteer sessions and our seasonal stall at Dagenham East station will continue into 2020 and beyond.

 

 

 

There are several key project areas:

Working with local young people

We ran weekly school food-growing and cooking sessions for 60 William Bellamy students plus weekly sessions for Assisted Learning students from Barking and Dagenham College. Click on this link to see photos of our work with local schools.

Our funding enabled us to set up a food-growing club for William Bellamy school students and a holiday food-growing club, Growing on Holiday. The club was for young people aged 9-18 and included lunch made from fresh farm produce.  Activities included planting out, harvesting soft fruit, learning to cook farm produce - and eating! Click on this link to see photos of previous holiday clubs.

Helping local residents into work

Over the 3 years of Grown in Dagenham we trained 13 local unemployed and lone parents in food growing and food production every year, teaching them how to use farm produce to make Grown in Dagenham products – including Grown in Dagenham Tommy K Ketchup. Our trainees learnt the basics of food hygeine, food growing, harvesting and food preparation as well as marketing and retailing. Click here to see our 2016 and 2017 trainees in action. Our 2018 trainees started in April 2018 and graduated in December 2018. Several of our trainees now have full-time or part-time jobs as a result of their training with us. In 2016 we won the London wide Roots to Work award for our training programme.

 

 

Improving local residents' well-being

The farm is open every Wednesday (March 6 to early December) for local residents to learn more about food growing and get fresh air and exercise through volunteering on the farm. For more about our volunteering opportunities, go to our Volunteering page. The Lottery funding enabled us to open the farm on Sundays for volunteering and produce sales. We also ran large scale Open Days on the farm: our annual DagenJAM event - click here to see photos.

Mental Health

We offer free places on a dedicated session for local Barking and Dagenham residents with mental health issues on Wednesdays as part of our Grown in Dagenham project. If you would like to self-refer or refer service users to this group please email us. Please be aware that we cannot offer one to one supervision of individuals attending this group and participants will need to be able to take part in physical activities outside.