Sustainable life worked in 2016 with Highbury Orchard Community CIC, a charity based in Highbury Park where they work to re-purpose abandoned land within Highbury for the community. We ran a variety of courses in the orchard space.
On 4/6/17 our course leader Alan Bale ran a cob oven course for Highbury Orchard volunteers to participate in for FREE. Details of which can be viewed here: Highbury Oven
in 2016 we worked with the Friends of Raddlebarn who aim to improve the school and equipment for the children attending Raddlebarn Primary School in Birmingham. We managed to work closely with teachers at the school to provide an edible range of plants in the nursery playground. To do this, we donated seedlings, materials, plant feed and our time to building up suitable growing beds in the provided planters. The Friends of Raddlebarn also donated 3 sacks of compost enrichment to get the project going. We also donated a variety of seeds in the spring so the kids and teachers can get involved in their own time and plant their own edible wonders over the summer.
Sustainable Life were proud to work with Teesdale YMCA in Barnard Castle on 6th and 7th of February 2016. Not only were we able to contribute to the YMCA by renting two rooms for the weekend but we held 8 amazing willow weaving courses there over two days and YMCA staff member Lesley brilliantly helped us out every step of the way.
Forest Schools Birmingham supported our growing project at Raddlebarn Primary School in 2016 allowing us to get the materials we needed for an after school growing club. They have also funded 6 separate workshops for the Kingstanding Food Community volunteers from November-December 2016. We hope to continue to work closely with FSB in Kingstanding throughout 2017 and beyond.
Free Seed Bank 2016
Thanks to Wyevale Garden Centre in Bournville we were able to set up a free seed bank for Birmingham communities. This seed bank specifically helped create the Raddlebarn Big Harvest Project where free seeds were given out to all 463 pupils to grow at home. We also helped to plant some of the planters at the school using these seeds.
Raddlebarn Big Harvest 2016
We gave out seeds to all 463 pupils at Raddlebarn Primary School using seeds from the Sustainable Life Seed bank set up by Wyevale donations. We also ran FIVE after school growing sessions for pupils for free and planted up the infant playground planters with edible plants like lettuce, peas and tomatoes. We also gave the infant classes thier own salad leaves to try planting for themselves. We pruned the school rosemary bush and gave out rosemary cuttings for free to pupils and thier families and finally we held a photo growing competition for Raddlebarn families.
Free Sunflower Seeds Project 2016
Find out more about the project in our sunflower seed blog post. This project provided free sunflower seeds to schools across Birmingham for their year 1 pupils.
For this project we had a 12.12% reponse rate from schools and a total of 628 pupils received sunflower seeds (2160 seeds given out in total).
Extra One-off Opportunities
Trees for Cities – Spent 1 day helping the team plant trees in Walmley on 8/12/15.
Sarehole Mill Museum – Donated willow wands and calendula rods and spent a day constructing a woven enclosure with the learning officer Louise. Children will apply clay to this structure to learn about historical house construction on educational trips to the museum.
Kingstanding Food Community – 2 months volunteering at the Edmonton Allotment site and working one-on-one with vulnerable adults 1-2 times a week. 3 months volunteering at the cafe site doing admin tasks and general support.