We are aiming to raise £98,000 to see our programmes through the next 6 months and cover the loss we faced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The last 12 months have been unquestionably tough. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, GROW has proved its resilience and, more than ever, its necessity. Schools are stretched, the fragility of our food and health systems have been unveiled, and mental health issues are rapidly on the rise. GROW offers both systemic and practical solutions to these critical issues.
GROW works in schools and communities to promote mental well-being, physical health, and a more hands-on relationship with the natural world.
GROW delivers curriculum, extra-curricular, and outreach based programmes centered around their four key pillars:
GROUND: Food and Farming
THINK: Philosophical Thinking
FLOW: Yoga and Mindfulness
THRIVE: Extra-curricular (Boxing, Forest School, Youtube club, and more!)
GROW’s 360° educational programme offers young people the skills, knowledge, and confidence to go beyond their day to day routines, realise their full potential, and make positive changes in the world.
Since launching their pilot scheme at The Totteridge Academy, North London in May 2019, GROW has built a community farm, started a Forest School and free school meal holiday programme, and rolled out their unique curriculum to 300 students per week as part of the school timetable.
Set up by former TV presenter, George Lamb, GROW is an ambitious and urgent response to the accelerating climate emergency, rising obesity levels amongst children and young people in the UK, and the surging mental health crisis faced by our schools. The GROW mission at their pilot school is to create and exemplify a model for tackling the root causes of these three critical and intrinsically connected issues within schools and communities: with education, empowerment, and access at its core.
“Our curriculum normalises the urgent” says founder George Lamb, “giving young people the regular space to connect to, understand, and appreciate their environment and communities and, in turn, help save them.”
Our belief is that every young person, no matter their background, should be able to access and benefit from programmes like GROW.
Our aim is to see GROW become second nature, as normal in a young person’s day as a maths lesson or football practice.
Our ambition is for GROW to feature as part of the national curriculum by 2030.
"GROW has made me think about how I look after the environment and care for myself, and how to think when I am stressed or anxious about something. It has made me think differently." Isaiah, GROW participant
We have achieved a lot in just two years. As we move into the next phase, we need help to continue and expand our work. Due to the pandemic, costs have mounted and funding is scarce, presenting challenges to the delivery of our programmes. We need this £98,000 to see our programmes through the next 6 months and cover the loss we faced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
During lockdown we provided fresh and organic food for free school meal packages and the local community grown by our volunteers, we delivered safe outdoor learning programmes to young people most in need, and we taught our students how to get growing at home and 'flowing' in their living rooms. We are thrilled to now be back in schools delivering our curriculum, extracurricular, and outreach programmes, reaching more young people than ever, and we need your support to keep us going!
We have 4 key deliverables for this next phase that your money will go on to support:
1) Widening our impact across the community, with an aim to support an additional 500+ people through our programmes. We can do this by:
i) Extending our programmes working with local services and organisations. We aim to offer the GROW programme to support physical, mental, and social health to those most in need. To do this, we need a Community Outreach Manager to head up our outreach strategy, ensuring our impact is meaningful, positive, and wide.
ii) Developing our Key Stage 1 and 2 programmes for primary schools with a special interest in supporting transition, mental and social health, and healthy eating.
iii) Launching our first summer holiday programme which will be offered to up to 40 young people from low-income families in North London who may struggle to access healthy meals, outdoor learning, and well-being based activities in the school holidays.
2) Continuing to enhance and strengthen our tested and valued curriculum offering at our pilot school, The Totteridge Academy. We can do this by:
i) Embarking on a curriculum-wide research project to measure the impact of our programme on mental, physical, and social health and, in turn, school-wide learning. The data collected from this research project will help strengthen our case for rolling out the GROW programme to more schools across the country.
ii) Developing our training programmes to train 5 more facilitators how to deliver our modules so that we can take our programme to additional schools across the country.
3) Developing the farm infrastructure and food growing capacity. We can do this by:
i) Doubling the land in which we cultivate our produce from 1.5 acres to 3 acres. This will enable us to supply even more of the local community and beyond with affordable, sustainable, and nutritious fruit and veg.
ii) Building an education focussed plot on the farm that will enable us to run more outreach programmes with community members, youth centres, and larger school groups.
iii) Building a pizza oven for our community to enjoy on the farm and for our events.
4) Developing new community projects outside of the local area. We can do this by:
i) Launching a programme of outdoor learning activities in Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, for which we need trained facilitators and specialist equipment.
ii) Creating and launching the country's first AQA Accredited Mushroom Growing course with one of the country's leading Mycologists, Darren Springer, giving vulnerable young people tools to develop life skills and the option of a viable career in Mycology and Mushroom Cultivation.
“The GROW flow lessons help you not have so many rushing thoughts and to be able to just stop and enjoy the moment instead of being caught up in all the rush and noise that there normally is.” Eskie, GROW participant
The Covid-19 recovery offers us a chance to reflect on how we live and what we value. We believe GROW is a notion for change. We need your help to continue to empower the next generation with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to realise their full potential, take control of their future, and build a better world.
Thank you for choosing to support GROW. Your investment will continue to sustain us and allow us to keep doing the work we are doing that we are so, so proud of. Please visit our website to find out more: www.wearegrow.org
When it is safe to do so, we would love to invite all of our donors to a celebration event on the GROW site and experience first hand what you have helped to support. Furthermore, all of our supporters will receive a personalised (and plantable!) thank you card from one of our GROW students.