Guardian Charity Awards winners, from the Comfrey Project to.... you?
It’s time for growing initiatives to down spades (just for a moment) and reach for the keyboard, as the Guardian Charity Awards 2010 opens for applications. Run by the Guardian in partnership with the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI), the awards offer recognition and support to small, innovative, UK charities that are able to make a big impact on people’s lives. Winners receive £6,000, plus a wealth of expert advice, and free membership to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
The Comfrey Project
The awards are a great opportunity for small, volunteer-led growing schemes. One of last year’s winners was the Comfrey Project, a Newcastle-based initiative that works with asylum-seekers and refugees on allotments across the city, to support their overall health and well-being. Activity on the allotments is guided by project managers, and participants get the chance to talk about their experiences and practice their English whilst learning horticultural skills and growing healthy food.
Growers of more than 20 different nationalities are involved in the scheme, leading to exotic produce such as chilies, okra and amaranth being grown.
Click here to watch a video about the award-winners on the Guardian website.
What a difference an award makes
Winning the award has made a big impact on the Comfrey Project, and given it some much-needed financial security. Both volunteer and referral numbers have increased, and the stamp of recognition has also helped forge and develop relationships with other organizations and allotment users. The growers themselves also received a boost; organizers explained that many felt rightly proud of the recognition.
For the chance to win cash, support and recognition for your small charity, visit the Guardian Charity Awards web page for entry criteria and to apply online.