Charlotte founded, led, publicised and taught at UH Community Garden over four years. The garden provides the opportunity for volunteers learn the principles of gardening, soil science and care for food crops.

Location: St Andrews, Scotland

Through careful leadership and passionate conviction, Charlotte created an open and informal environment in which volunteers produce their own food, grow in confidence and recognise the inherent aesthetic and social value of the garden. This season, the garden produced over 34,950g of food with 356 volunteer hours from students, staff, local school children and residents.

Charlotte collaborated with Student Minds, St Andrews and other therapeutic gardening groups. She also held events and skill share sessions and created a green space into which volunteers can come and escape the stresses of their lives. For some, this has led to employment or apprenticeships, and for others, the garden provides therapeutic respite. Most have gone on to become active environmentalists and vocal about sustainable food issues.

Charlotte collaborated with external organisations such as Transition, St Andrews, St Andrews Botanic Garden and local caterers to host events, share resources and create resilience. She also collaborated with academics researching grassroots community projects, urban farming, and sustainable development. The University has pledged to include community gardens in plans for all upcoming residence developments and Charlotte’s project has inspired several other community gardens in the town: an endorsement of the value of the project to the wellbeing of the community.

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