Funding boost helps cultivate growth

CALA bursary helps to cultivate growth for Aberdeen community project 

Cultivate Aberdeen, a community initiative that provides Aberdonians with food-growing and sustainable education facilities, has received a £2,000 donation from the CALA Homes community bursary to help purchase vital tools and equipment for its St Fitticks’ project in Torry.

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND, APRIL 24 2021: Cultivate Aberdeen is a volunteer-led community initiative that provides food-growing and sustainable practice to local areas across Aberdeen. (Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)

The St Fitticks’ Edible Garden was launched in March 2021 and was established to provide the local community with access to an allotment space to grow fruit and vegetables in a safe and relaxing green space.

The edible garden space will also feature a dedicated area for education and outdoor learning to help encourage children and young people visiting the site to be more creative and enjoy learning about sustainability and self-sufficiency.

George Bellamy, Founder and Chairman of Cultivate Aberdeen, said “St Fitticks’ is a space for all the community to grow food, learn and enjoy. The response we have had from the community has been incredible, especially as the pandemic has resulted in lots of people enjoying the outdoors on a more regular basis and making the most of the green spaces on their doorstep. We look forward to welcoming new faces to the site and this funding from CALA Homes will certainly help us to grow.

“The funding will go towards essential equipment needed to continue to transfer the former council depot into an edible garden fit for purpose which is centred around our core themes. As we move forward, we will continue to share in the philosophy of the Natural Health Service – ‘how nature can help mend the mind and to utilise fully the benefits of Scotland’s green spaces’ creating a truly unique space with multiple benefits for all audiences in the City.”

The coining of the Natural Health Service, launched and developed by NatureScot will support the health sector to embrace green exercise as part of policy and practice. This will see nature-based health programmes used as part of health promotion and improvement, as well as encourage healthier lifestyle behaviours.

Mike Naysmith, Managing Director at CALA Homes North, said: “The work carried out by the team at Cultivate Aberdeen is simply remarkable and it’s fantastic to see so many residents in Aberdeen involved with cultivating their own fruit and veg.“We are proud to be able to play our part in supporting this initiative and helping it to grow across the city and encourage healthy habits among our youth.”

The donation was made as part of the CALA Homes (North) £10,000 Community Bursary scheme, which has helped a total of seven local groups, charities, and organisations this year.

Now in its fifth year, CALA’s Community Bursary aims to provide support for a wide range of organisations and projects within the communities in which CALA builds.

For further information on CALA Homes’ 2021 Community Bursary, visit www.cala.co.uk/bursary.