26 Jul 2022
The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland are delighted to launch a five-year environmental project through the Acorn Farm in St Columb’s Park. The ambitious project is encouraging people to take climate action through better food choices, growing programmes, climate focussed activities and sharing learning to change behaviours.
Special thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund who have funded the £1,697,257 project to bring communities together to tackle food sustainability in Derry/Londonderry.
The project, which is partnered with Derry City and Strabane District Council and the Conservation Volunteers, will also build networks across sectors, driving a new inclusive food movement in Northern Ireland and across the UK.
The funding comes from The National Lottery Community Fund’s Climate Action Fund, which was set up to help communities throughout the UK reduce their carbon footprint and show what is possible when people take the lead in tackling climate change.
Roisin Wood, CEO, Community Foundation NI, said: “We are thrilled to receive this National Lottery funding to build on the work we have already started. The Acorn Farm has the potential to transform how local families and communities make choices about the food they grow and eat. The benefits will be far reaching as food choice impacts climate, health, mental well-being, cost of living and our social interactions.”
The Acorn Farm Project was initially supported by £200,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund’s Climate Action Fund in 2020 to support local families to grow their own produce at home and start developing the Acorn Farm at a former MOD site. This new funding will support the next stage of the Acorn Farm to become a food growing hub with a learning and skills development centre and sustainable food events venue.
Paul Sweeney, Northern Ireland Chair, The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “From 25 years of funding environmental projects across the UK, we know that local community action is at the heart of delivering solutions that not only minimise the impact on the environment, but also offer extra benefits for communities. We are delighted that our Climate Action Fund is now open for applications.”
“It is inspiring to see the progress made at Acorn Farm and in Derry/Londonderry so far in climate action and we look forward to seeing what they will achieve with this new money.
“Thanks to National Lottery players we’re bringing these communities together so they can address climate change, learn from each other and have an impact within and beyond their communities.”
Welcoming the National Lottery announcement, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Sandra Duffy, said: “It’s fantastic news that such a community focused approach to promoting sustainability will now have the resources to engage a wide number of local people of all ages through a diverse and creative programme of activities.
“The Acorn Farm has the potential to really drive change through making more people aware of the many healthier choices out there, and during the current cost of living crisis offering practical ways for people to help reduce household expenditure. Working in tandem with our partners in the Acorn Food Network we can take a proactive approach to climate action and a more sustainable future.”