Congratulations to the Five A Day market garden in Englefield Village which has gained charity status just six months after applying and is looking forward to a busy summer for volunteers and visitors.
The garden, which operates as a not-for-profit community supported project, provides a place for people to meet and learn outdoors, educating children and supporting older people in a therapeutic and natural environment.
It is maintained with the help of a ‘small army’ of volunteers. The wide range of fruit, vegetables and flowers they produce helps visiting children understand how things grow and provides fresh produce for the local community and groups. The produce is then sold to raise funds to help with running of the charity.
Service Development Manager Yvonne Redgrave said the speedy granting of charitable status came in large part as a result of support from Englefield Estates Director Edward Crookes, who gained experience of the process through applying to make Englefield Village Hall into a Charitable Incorporated Organisation.
Charitable status for the garden enables its use to be increased and helps raise funds to improve the facilities.
Yvonne said: “We have installed an all-singing, all-dancing compost loo with disabled facilities. This was funded by a number of organisations including Ella’s Kitchen, who sponsor our school visits, and the Englefield Charitable Trust.”
There was an official opening of the new loo at the end of May, which is similar to the environmentally friendly facilities often installed in National Parks.
Another improvement to the garden comes in the shape of a shelter that allows work to continue even in the rain – and an upgrade to the Five A Day website is also planned for the end of July. This will be much easier to navigate making it simpler for people to find out what’s going on at Five A Day.
Five A Day is part of the Reading Green Wellbeing Network which promotes organisations that provide Green Care services.