Under the Sky Growing and Learning – End of project reflections

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After 4 years the Under the Sky Growing and Learning Project has come to an end.

We were excited to fund this for the 4 year period. Despite the obvious challenges that had not been planned for with the pandemic and the cost of living crisis, this project had impact and many unexpected outcomes.

As the project ends, they report the following outcomes over last 6-12 months:

  • Food Safety qualifications for 2 members of staff
  • Sound Healing/ Working with Sound in the Environment
  • Environmentally Sustainable Management training undertaken
  • Community allotment engaged families and individuals and produce was shared at local coffee morning. A new Community Workshop will be launched in February 2024. Some tools and equipment from the project will be used in the new workshop.
  • Over 70 people benefitted from environmental coffee mornings which has now developed into a Craft, Coffee morning – emphasis on using recycled, natural materials. This is now peer led and sustainable.
  • Over 80 people attended workshops in Willow Weaving / Sashiko Sewing /Beginners Knitting /Cooking on a Budget /Sprouting and Microgreens. These workshops built evidence base to draw in other funding from Selar and private donations and more targeted sessions will be delivered beyond the project, giving a new direction to the programme of learning at the Centre.
  • Supported by Tai Tarian they improved the physical environment of the training Centre and create a pleasant outside entrance for clients of Neurological Rehabilitation Wales attending physical therapy sessions. They created a garden aea for learners, staff and customers and increased biodiversity in their grounds.
  • The high street planter project has now been handed over to the Grass Roots Community Group and they have supported group with equipment needed to continue with this element of project.
  • They worked with over 250 local school children “The children in the schools we worked with really enjoyed learning and getting stuck in to their growing spaces.  I feel the enthusiasm they showed for all aspects of caring for and maintaining their Garden space bodes well for the future and should be nurtured and responded to more than it currently is within the school curriculum”.

“We were able to deliver new opportunities for learning out in the community and out of the classroom in entirely new ways. The size and scope of the changes has been significant, from building an outdoor kitchen to moving tons of manure from teaching gardening to non-verbal adults with additional needs to bringing young children onto the local allotments for the first time. We have worked with professionals and organisations that we might never have encountered and made community connections that will continue beyond the life of the project. The project has a legacy of a new community environmental group, street planters and spring bulbs that will flower for years to come, fruit trees and bushes that anyone can pick from.  The project purchased tools and equipment that were used for environmental learning activities such as wreath-making, cooking from the allotment, pyrography and wood-working. These were new to our training, but they will remain part of our programme.”