HANDS OF HOPE

Enabling people and communities to lead healthier and happier lives by connecting them to nature and each other

Get Growing

Local Food For Good

Get Growing

Launched in 2020, Get Growing is now an annual community project from Hands of Hope that provides FREE Grow Kits to Schools, Care Settings and Households throughout Rother, Hastings & West Kent, encouraging and supporting people to grow their own food as well as engaging Volunteers at Hope Farm Community Garden Volunteers to come and sow, grow, harvest and distribute 100’s of tonnes of organic, in-season produce for local food banks.

Get Growing project logo
You can Get Growing at any age

The Benefits of Gardening

We believe everyone should have a go at growing their own food – it strengthens both our bodies and minds, makes us mindful of the seasons, every mouthful, food miles and waste.

Whether you are growing for yourself, with children, or as part of a community group, gardening is a proven way to relieve stress, stay active and spend time outdoors – tracking with the NHS ‘5 Steps to Wellbeing’.

Getting Started

We are here to support you!

Most of our growers are complete beginners and our kit provides a safe space for you to explore. You’ll learn through making mistakes – it’s all about trowel and error – so please don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you may have throughout your journey via our website or on social media.

KIT CONTENTS:
Your ‘Grow Kit’ includes organic seed sowing compost, organic seeds, pots, plug plants, cell trays, labels and Growing Instructions and we encourage participants to donate any surplus food grown to your local Food Bank and your neighbours.

General Grow Kit Contents
Schools Grow Kit Contents

Keep us posted

Please send us photos, updates, and feel free to ask questions – we would love to hear how you are getting on. Join us on Facebook and Instagram too and keep us up to date.

You can help us secure funding for this wonderful project for another year by sharing your photos, messages and questions with us on our social media – remember to use hashtag #GetGrowing2024 – alternatively you can email them to us to post and answer on your behalf.

If we like your photo we may even ask for permission to use it for promotional purposes!

GET GROWING leads to better connected & healthier communities

Achieving its main aims, the project:

  • Reduces food waste
  • Tackles food-related issues in children and adults:
    • Access to affordable healthy food
    • Increased food poverty
  • Educates children and young people in food growing and healthy eating
  • Addresses wellbeing deficiencies in poorer communities:
    • Rural isolation, loneliness, mental and physical health
  • Improves long-term health outcomes
  • Encourages healthy eating and improves lifestyles

Get Growing is aligned to the NHS ‘5 Steps to Wellbeing’:

  • to connect
  • to be active
  • to take notice (be mindful)
  • to learn and
  • to give back

Outcomes of Get Growing

Launched in July 2020 as a response to COVID-19, we’re now in our fourth year. To date Get Growing has…

Distributed over 1,500 free Grow Kits to almost 1,000 settings throughout Rother, Hastings, and West Kent.

Supported over 23,000 potential growers including school and nursery aged children, vulnerable adults, and low-income families.
Distributed over 10,500 plug plants and almost 7,000 seed packets.
Accrued over 4,000 volunteer hours on the Get Growing Project.
Distributed 100’s of tonnes of fresh in-season, organic produce to local food banks.

Received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2022.

Get Growing in action

Get Growing is good for everyone – whether you’re a grower or a project volunteer.