Grow To School

National Growing For Wellbeing Week, (5th – 11th June) celebrates how growing your own produce can help improve your physical and mental health so South Yorkshire Community Foundation caught up with Grow To School, to hear how they’ve utilised funding from our grants programme to include working with children in schools to create their own produce.

Following COVID-19 and the increase in isolation within communities, Grow to School believe that supporting people’s access to the outdoors, nature and the environment has significant benefits for health, wellbeing and connectedness with the environment. They work in areas where children and families have little or no access to outdoor spaces, so making use of existing environments and creating spaces for growing and engagement provides vital and important experiences.

After being successful with obtaining funding from the Blackstone Edge Windfarm Community Fund, which targets beneficiaries living near the windfarm in North West Barnsley, Grow To School will work with two schools and their communities over the course of a year to develop and manage school allotments and increase biodiversity.

Recently, they have been helping children at Denby Dale First and Nursery School to launch the ‘Beet Family’, with radishes being harvested and taken in to wash and taste. Beetroot has emerged in their little ‘family space’, with the children tasting the leaves, commenting on their similarity to young spinach leaves.

As part of their Growbag sessions, they have been sharing the skills, knowledge and resources to support the schools to grow food year-round whilst manage their outdoor spaces for wildlife long-term.

Scholes Junior & Infants, near Holmfirth, have benefitted from being part of the experience of eating what they grow.

Providing opportunities for the children to be outside, to connect with nature and the world around them is hugely beneficial for their mental health and wellbeing.

Andrew Hancox, Headteacher at the school

The Growbag programme offers a year-round package of food growing support and resources. It includes plants, seeds, a growing diary, planting plans and activities, alongside instruction sheets plus supported gardening sessions for the whole school delivered by their team.

We’re so grateful for the funding from SYCF. It enables us to provide opportunities for the next generation to explore and engage with the natural environment. Helping them understand their place within it is vital for the future of biodiversity and the health of our planet

Ama Chaney, Managing Director at Grow To School CIC

Stay tuned to our Grants page for when new funding opportunities from the Blackstone Windfarm Community Fund arise.

Find out more

Applying to the Blackstone Edge Windfarm Community Grants could help you to transform your local community. Visit the grants page to check our eligibility criteria and application guidance.