We began 2021 with great deal of optimism. With life slowing down and changing in unexpected ways during 2020, some people discovered the community garden for the first time, and were pleasantly surprised by what goes on right on their doorstep. This encouraged us to apply for some funding to help us extend our offer. Writing funding applications has never been a strong point and we are extremely grateful to everyone who has funded us in the past.
National Lottery Community Fund
Thanks to funding from National Lottery Community Fund we created a ‘secret garden’ for our well-being activities and upgraded our toilet facility.
Devon County Council
We received funding from DCC to help us run more Covid-safe outdoor activities in the garden. We have also secured funds to set up a gardening club for families starting in 2022. We believe that when we are connecting with nature, it truly helps our mental health, and that can have such a positive impact on our physical well-being too. While engaging young people with healthy food production we hope that we can do our little bit to help alleviate some of the food poverty we are seeing locally while connecting children actively with the environment.
Okehampton United Charities
Who let the Dad’s out helped us with some fundraising to help make the garden more child friendly, Okehampton United Charities provided funds for picnic tables, a sandpit, outdoor games and a beautiful mud kitchen.
Devon Community Foundation
Devon Community Foundation have helped us purchase items, such as a gazebo, that will help us promote the activities at the garden and generate a revenue stream to enable us to continue beyond the funding, as well as help us develop our programme of well-being activities. We have signed up as an activity provider with the Children’s University so children participating in the scheme can get their passport signed when they attend our activities.
Great Western Railway
Okehampton has been campaigning for the reinstatement of the railway line to Exeter for the past 20 years. In 2019 GWR announced that we were going to get the line reinstated. In 2021 the line opened and carried the first passenger train from Okehampton to Exeter in October 2021. We were thrilled to bits when we were informed that our funding application to purchase a new tractor mower had been approved. The mower arrived just before Christmas. We had previously been donated a second hand ride on mower which wasn’t really up to the job as the area of grass at the community garden is quite extensive. We had replaced the cutter deck in 2020 so the mower was in better condition than when we received it and so we decided to donate to someone who would appreciate having it as much as we did. The mower was donated to Wishtree Permaculture project.
We are really please to announce our partnership with Literature Works and Katy Cawkwell, to bring a free storytelling workshop to the garden. Katy is brilliant and truly brings a story to life. Thanks to this funding we are holding one workshop and two Blaze sessions, where people have an informal, relaxed platform to practice what they learned in Kay’s workshop.