“We have a small core team of committee members and we now have a much bigger pool of active volunteers willing to run sessions for local people to learn more about growing food and using the crops we produce. We have all developed our skills and people have increased in confidence. We have a much better insight into what a community garden needs.
“We are able to share our knowledge of things like, planting, permaculture, forest gardening, foraging and pickling. We also supply local restaurants with fresh produce, which has been a good way of learning about commercial food production.
“Our challenge now is to operate as a much more professional team. We need to work out how to make the most of the resources we have. We have learned to pace ourselves and understand what is possible with a team of volunteers.
“We are not managers, we are gardeners, so we are looking to recruit someone to run the project while we act as a proper management board, providing more strategic planning at the site.
“Our project has become an informal hub for local people who are keen to learn more about gardening and in particular the principles behind permaculture.
“Our impact is now global, with our blog and website being read all over the world.”
Sue Amos and her colleagues at the Burgess Park Food Project in Peckham, London, started a community food-growing project on a derelict site in their south London park with a £46,000 grant from the Big Lottery Community Spaces fund, managed by Groundwork UK. A roundwork-appointed facilitator helped them with the planning and initial management of the project,
including negotiating with the local council, which owns the park.