Mid-Essex Charity The Wilderness Foundation UK has been short-listed to receive a share of more than £3 million of National Lottery funding
The Wilderness Foundation runs six allotments on the Melbourne Park Estate in Chelmsford, Essex.  Currently operating 1.5 days a week , the CGP Local Food Programme enables people from all walks of life to participate in growing a range of organic produce for themselves and distribution to those in need.   Many of the volunteers attend to overcome isolation, build social contacts and enjoy the sense of community and feeling of belonging that taking part gives them.
We have applied for £35,000 of funding from the National Lottery over the next twelve months, so we can extend the scheme to work with more community groups identified to be in need.   To secure our share of the funding, we must collect as many votes as possible between 29th February and 13th March 2016 via the People’s Projects website.
If successful in being funded, our allotment scheme will operate 5 days each week instead of the current 1.5, and an onsite Horticultural Therapist will be appointed to work alongside Site Supervisor Jonathan Barker.  This will enable us  to work with the most marginalised and vulnerable members of the community.  Research conducted by the University of Essex has reported significant benefit for participants and we know that programmes like this really do change lives.
Wilderness Foundation UK CEO Jo Roberts says:
“The project works with people of all ages and abilities – some with severe mental and physical challenges.  The scheme enables them to grow healthy produce to eat and donate to others in need. We provide education on healthy living and active lifestyles.  One of the most significant outcomes is that participation overcomes the desperate isolation that many people in our communities are feeling.  The elderly, those with healthy problems, job seekers and those with limited resources can all come together, working alongside each other for a common good.   Our research shows that belonging to a scheme like this improves self-esteem, confidence and wellbeing.   We know that our work can change lives.”

We need your votes!

Viewers living in the ITV Anglia television region can watch a short film about the CGP Local Food Programme during Anglia News on Wednesday 2nd March from 6:00 p.m.   The video is also available below:

To vote for the charity and help it secure funding please visit https://www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk/