Hopeful hands, green fingers

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Hands of Hope founder and Chair, James Doran (right) and Ashley Madden (Rye food bank)

When the going gets tough, the tough get growing! And, prior to Covid-19,  Hands of Hope charity were running weekly community programmes from their heritage walled garden site in Hawkhurst including Men in Sheds, Growing Buddies, Helping Hands Lunch Club and Bee in Company, while raising funds for the development of a walled, kitchen garden community hub.

Polytunnels and beds groaning with fresh organic produce.
It may be hot work, but Hands of Hope know how to deliver the goods.
A feast freshly picked, prepared and delivered.

With funding for the charity sector now in a precarious state, and programmes paused because of current restrictions, the trustees decided to create a market garden within the walled garden from where they will deliver organic produce to local food banks.

They have now established two large 30ft polytunnels as well as 26ft x 100ft raised beds, the majority of which are being managed by volunteers.

Row upon row of fresh produce

Hands of Hope have been running safe, volunteering sessions on site, clearing the raised beds ready for all the organic produce which will be delivered to the beneficiaries of Rye Food Bank and Hawkhurst Community Group – and it is a great opportunity to get outdoors and join in a community initiative safely with the aim of supporting those who need their help.

Hands of Hope Mission

Hands of Hope are combatting loneliness in rural areas with great success.

Hands of Hope aims to combine natural and community heritage to teach people and their communities practical ways to sustain, conserve, protect and improve the natural environment and, through education and training, improve people’s health and wellbeing using growing, cooking and the natural world.

Whether a potential participant, volunteer or partner organisation, to find out more please check out the website or contact trustee Mandy Doran direct on: 07968 333 097 or email: info@hohcharity.co.uk

Image Credits: Mandy Doran , Hands of Hope .

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