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October 23rd, 2019.

Sussex Community Development Association recently funded a minibus to transport volunteers from local community groups to visit all the other gardens in the group.

In all, twenty volunteer representatives from Newhaven Growing Together Community Garden, Seaford Community Garden, New Peacehaven Community Garden, Lewes Therapeutic Garden, Landport Community Garden and Lewes Community Allotments, spent the day visiting each other's community gardens to share ideas, solutions and challenges.

Everybody had a great day, including lunch courtesy of Newhaven Community garden and cakes and tea round the cauldron at Landport Community garden.

At each garden, the host group told the visitors more about the garden, and there were relevant specific talks and discussions on site.

The event was such a success that Greenhavens Network intends to build on this successful day, co-designing support for the community gardens.

The detailed feedback from this event has helped Greenhavens to start to plan how best to support the gardens going forward. Initial plans are to look at funding marketing literature and support. This will help with volunteer recruitment, volunteer leaders and training programs for the garden projects and for their communities. Also on the list is accessing capital funding for compost toilets, shelter, classroom, tools etc.

It seems there was a huge interest in keeping the garden volunteers in touch with each other and arranging further visits in the future. The suggestion is that an email community gardens network group be set up, so that people can share ideas and stories, ask questions, discuss funding opportunities, post photographs etc.

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