Squire’s Announces Community Gardening Programme
Above: Sarah Squire, Chairman, Squire’s Garden Centres (centre), with colleagues.
Squire’s Garden Centres has today (8 January 2024) launched a new community gardening programme, ‘Love Where You Live’, which provides a £5,000 fund to support the valuable work of projects within communities close to its centres.
The initiative will seek to assist up to seven community gardening projects in local areas that exist to educate, grow produce or provide health and wellbeing benefits through horticulture. Applications are invited from projects, initiatives or organisations that bring communities together through their work. The awards will give financial support and practical advice so initiatives can make a significant step forward – or become a reality – within the communities they serve.
The £5,000 fund will be split into seven awards made up of three £1,000 awards and four awards of £500. Projects selected will be confirmed mid-March and scheduled to run throughout spring and summer, culminating at the end of July 2024. Awards made will be in the form of Squire’s vouchers so recipients can choose plants, tools and other gardening supplies according to their own needs. Projects will be selected from those close to Squire’s 16 garden centres, so colleagues can offer appropriate support.
To be considered, projects must be within a 10-mile radius of a Squire’s Garden Centre and be able to demonstrate a clear benefit to the wider community. Greater weight will be given to projects that are accessible to anyone in the local area, but spaces benefiting a group with particular needs may be considered. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that the project will be well maintained beyond the award period. Interested organisations are invited to make applications via Squire’s website until 29 February 2024.
Sarah Squire, Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres, comments: “Supporting the communities we serve has always been at the heart of our business. Squire’s is about bringing plants and people together and our new award programme ‘Love Where You Live’, will celebrate this.
“Being outside and gardening have long been a source of benefit to mental and physical wellbeing. There has certainly been an increase in communities coming together in recent years through horticulture as it provides a positive platform for good. We are confident our ‘Love Where You Live’ programme will deliver much-needed assistance to local projects.
“These awards continue our support of our communities and will work alongside our long standing and successful ‘Charity of the Year’ programme, which sees each of our 16 centres working with one local charity for the duration of a year. In collaboration, our garden centre teams and their nominated charities work together raising funds through a series of initiatives ranging from raffles, collection boxes, charity events as well as through physical challenges like climbing Snowdon or a charity run. Over the years our teams have raised some fantastic amounts for their chosen charities, given back to the community, had lots of fun and importantly, forged some long-standing relationships with our charity partners and the community.”
Love Where You Live – Key Criteria *
- Applications are welcome from community gardening groups/projects/not-for-profit organisations (applications will not be accepted from business organisations or educational establishments)
- Applications are welcome from charities (but applications cannot be made by current Squire’s ‘Charity of the Year’ organisations.)
- Applications must include a detailed plan with goals to be achieved during the period March to end July 2024
- Projects may be new or existing.
- Applications must have permission to be on the land being used by the project.
- Projects must demonstrate a clear benefit to the wider community (or a section of the community), who must be able to access the initiative.
- The project must be located within a 10 miles radius of a Squire’s Garden Centre.
- Applications must demonstrate that the project will be well maintained beyond the award period.
- Applications must be signed by two signatories representing the project and confirm that they are representative of a group of people.
(Note: Educational organisations are not eligible to enter under the above qualifying criteria)
Squire’s Charity of the Year Programme
Squire’s Garden Centres Charity of the Year programme runs from 1st August – 31st July each year.
Each centre selects their own charity, which is local to the centre and often close to many colleagues’ hearts. Centres work closely with their chosen charity to support their work in the local community, as well as raising awareness and much needed funds for them via special fundraising events throughout the year.