Healthy, delicious fresh food is vital for those with life-limiting illnesses and St Ann’s Hospice is sowing the seeds for a long-term plan to provide more organic homegrown food for its patients.
The charity has teamed up with The Kindling Trust, a social enterprise that runs Woodbank Community Food Hub in Woodbank Memorial Park, Stockport.
Kindling’s horticultural initiative includes the FarmStart programme, which has already supplied lettuces to the kitchens at St Ann’s in Heald Green with more vegetable deliveries expected.
FarmStart offers supported growing and training for those who want to turn organic vegetable growing into a commercial operation.
Veg grown there supplies the largest local veg box scheme and top restaurants in Greater Manchester.
The site buzzes with activity from Stockport beekeepers to community gardeners and commercial growers.
FarmStart Co-ordinator Helen Dodd said: “Our aim is to create a new generation of local organic growers because we need to change the culture of farming.
“We help growers set up their own projects in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way and are a hub for enterprises which provide affordable, fresh locally grown produce.”
Alistair Culpan, Facilities Manager at St Ann’s Hospice, added: “We’re looking forward to developing our relationship with The Kindling Trust, offering our patients the highest quality food while supporting local food producers.
“We’ll continue to support our local community and longer term would like to have an organic vegetable and sensory garden at the hospice. We recognise that gardening is a therapeutic exercise which our patients can benefit from greatly.”