Providing horticultural therapy, training and employment opportunities for people experiencing social isolation and mental health issues.
Growing Change connects people through growing, making and selling premium organic food at urban social farms. The social enterprise provides horticultural therapy, training and employment opportunities for anyone experiencing social isolation and mental health issues.
Funds raised: $13,750
Growing Change raised $13,750 in November 2015 at The Funding Network in Perth and applied this funding towards the social farm's establishment costs (irrigation, row cove hoops, shade cloths, soil amendments and seeds) and running the 12 week social horticulture program for people experiencing mental health concerns.
Towards the end of 2016, a fresh 'crop' of graduates emerged from a unique WA social horticulture program. Referred to Growing Change by local social and medical service providers, these trainee farmers had been invited into a market garden to get their hands dirty (literally) and dig up some socialisation, employment skills and purpose from the rich red earth of a 1/3 acre enterprise known as the Fremantle Social Farm. One participant used her social farm experience as a bridge back to employment after time off due to illness; another experienced her first time in a work environment, participating in all aspects of the farm's operations and serving customers at the market stall.
Four seasons since the pitch, the debut cohort of 7 social famers have graduated from GC's program and the farm is supplying produce to more than 20 restaurants in the greater Fremantle area. Fremantle Social Farm has welcomed 150 people to its open farm days, there are 12 regular volunteers working on the site and over 60 people have participated in community 'busy bees'.
Depression and anxiety can lead to loss of life for many Australians - but social farming helps draw the mentally unwell, the socially isolated, and others just in need of a hand, out of their rooms and into the garden.
See how Growing Change is nurturing people in the community back to better health....
Read their Impact Report