Ouseburn Farm Charity in Byker is celebrating after being awarded almost £9,500 towards its ‘Growing Together’ project.

Newcastle-based Ringtons has donated £4,438 of funding via the Tyne and Wear Community Foundation, while the Farm has also been awarded £4,920 from the Aviva Community Fund.

The funding will contribute towards the Farm’s ‘Growing Together’ project, which will use food and growing as a catalyst to bring groups of local people together, to support their development and life skills.

Residents aged 16 and over living in and around Newcastle will learn where food comes from and its nutritional value incorporating sowing, growing, meal preparation and cooking. They will also be encouraged and supported to continue their development through volunteering, with the chance of growing skills, friendships and confidence.

To celebrate the project’s work with the whole community, the trainees and Farm will be organising a community meal for around 200 people this September.

The funding means that the Farm can support up to 96 local people through the programme with eight places available on each 6-week course.

Last November, the Farm was shortlisted amongst 800 local organisations and community-based projects in the Aviva Community Fund, which funds much-needed projects to support those most disadvantaged in the community.

The nationwide initiative was launched in September to encourage individuals and communities to submit a project close to their heart to be in with a chance of securing funding ranging from £1,000 up to £25,000.

Ouseburn Farm’s ‘Growing Together’ project was nominated by Linda Wheatley from Lycetts and those projects that were eligible had to fulfil at least one of the following four core themes: health and wellbeing, skills for life, community support and inclusivity.

Over 5.5 million votes were placed nationwide with only 550 projects benefitting overall. Now, after receiving the backing from hundreds of people, the Farm is one of only a few community projects in the North East to benefit from a £1,000-£5,000 windfall.

Dorothy Ellis, Ouseburn Farm Manager said: “We are delighted to secure this funding towards our Growing Together project and are very grateful to Ringtons and the Aviva Community Fund. I would particularly like to thank everyone who voted for our project and believing in what we are trying to achieve here at Ouseburn Farm.

“As a Charity, we are always looking at new ways to generate funding and once again, the public have got behind us to show their support.

“This is a really exciting project which will benefit the whole community and it will be lovely to invite the local community and beneficiaries back to the Farm in September to enjoy a shared meal and celebrate the good food that is grown here and produced by the project participants, sharing learning and positive outcomes.”

If you are aged over 16 and would like to participate in the programme, please contact Ouseburn Farm on 0191 232 3698 and speak to Dorothy or Andrea for more information.