Acorn Fund, sowing seeds of change in Derry and Strabane

Foundation News

Acorn Fund, sowing seeds of change in Derry and Strabane

1 Dec 2020

People in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area are being invited to take part in a food growing project over the next 18 months. The ‘I can grow’ project, led by the Community Foundation for NI is part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s Climate Action Fund. This programme will recruit 100 families to take up tools and learn the basics of food production at home, this project is now closed for applications. 

Families will be mentored by The Conservation Volunteers and will be given a toolkit to get them started in a project that will run over two growing seasons.

Andrew McCracken, CEO of Community Foundation for NI welcomed the project: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with University College Cork and Conversation Volunteers to deliver this project.  To be working collaboratively on the first project in NI to receive support from The National Lottery Community Fund’s Climate Action Fund is very encouraging. During lockdown, we have been inspired by the leadership of communities during a crisis, and we have confidence that communities will step up to tackle climate action and respond to our climate emergency. Our focus is starting a wider conversation on issues and educating local people about their food choices, where our food comes from, how it’s grown its carbon footprint. We are excited to begin the conversation around the sustainability of our food with 100 local families in the North West area. Small things together can make a big difference.”

Kate Beggs, Director of The National Lottery Community Fund Northern Ireland, said: “The grant of £200,000 of National Lottery money to The Acorn Farm Project, was the first award in Northern Ireland from our ten-year £100 million, Climate Action Fund, 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. This is an exciting opportunity for local families to play their part, through learning about food and how their food choices affect the environment.

Each week, thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised for good causes like this and it’s inspiring to see how projects are using it to take on the big challenges facing communities.”

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Brian Tierney, continued: “Sustainable food production has never been more important in terms of boosting local food supplies, reducing food miles and our carbon footprint. ‘I can grow’ has the potential to kick start a strong growing movement within Derry and Strabane, helping families become more self-sufficient while also bringing lots of health and economic benefits. Our vision to create a city that feeds itself is embedded throughout this project along with wider plans to build an innovation hub for sustainable food production at the planned Acorn Farm in St Columb’s Park. We are excited and energised to be part of Acorn Farm which will hopefully prompt people to rethink food culture and make more informed decisions in terms of growing, buying, storing, cooking and recycling food waste.”



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