Published date 7 September 2022

Growing well with £50,000 community support grant

Kim Brooks (Community Farm MD), Daisy Sutcliffe (Communities and Partnerships Manager), Metro Mayor Dan Norris, Tom Richardson (Communications Manager) and Cheyenne James (Community Farm Champion).

Metro Mayor Dan Norris discovered first-hand how a community farm is helping local people sow the seeds of success to lead them into a new job thanks to a £50,000 grant from the West of England Combined Authority's Community Support Fund.

On his visit to The Community Farm in Chew Magna, Mr Norris met some of the 48 local people taking part in the outdoor training course all of whom have at some time struggled with their mental health as well as alumni of previous courses at the not-for-profit farm.

The free course which kicks off this month and runs until March will help participants to better manage their mental health as well as getting the right skills to get good jobs.

Learners showed the Mayor how as part of the course they are helping maintain the farm’s veggie patch and asked Mr Norris to dig in too. Participants also cook up a storm out in the open and build new habitats for local wildlife all while learning how to build good mental health and resilience by connecting with nature.

Hundreds of previous participants in programmes at the not-for-profit farm have gone on to get paid jobs, including the Community Farm’s very own managing director Kim Brooks, who showed the Mayor around on the day.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “Through ‘growing wellbeing’ the Community Farm training will give more locals in need the confidence and the skills to go on to find good, rewarding jobs and thrive. I’m so pleased a £50,000 cash injection from the West of England Combined Authority I lead is supporting local people to manage their wellbeing, build resilience and live independent and fulfilling lives”.

Celebrating twelve years of success, The Community Farm is a community-owned and led organic farm overlooking Chew Valley Lake that grows, sources and delivers delicious produce to the local community. Every year hundreds of locals benefit through their wellbeing courses. It now employs 39 staff, has over 200 regular volunteers and welcomes more than 1,000 visitors a year.

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