We have also learned some lessons that have given us a few things to think about as we plan the way ahead. This year's fruit tree order for St George's and Baxter Gardens Parks and their LEAP sites was sent to our WFDC partners this week. The council's positive and permissive attitude has from the earliest days given Let's Eat the Park a powerful voice in both parks that lie within the funded area. WFDC Parks Department is of course our primary partner in developing some of the green spaces we volunteer in and in that sense Let's Eat the Park is a prototype of co-production in the Wyre Forest district. We have discussed this topic earlier in the year in a post on the LEAP blog
This pioneering work we regard as a secondary success to the primary aim of LEAP to address food poverty, have positive health impacts by making participating parks focal points for community cohesion while using our green spaces more productively and sustainably at the same time. A win-win situation.
The project has already secured sufficient funding to look forward with confidence to the coming Winter period and year ahead. Further funding through our primary LEAP funders, the People's Health Trust, Health Thrive and other funding sources guarantee the viability not only of LEAP but of the other children's and families events the Friends of St George's Park have established as local institutions on the Horsefair/Greenhill patch. The annual St George's Day Family Fun & Discovery event in April and our fourth KidFest in August 2016 are both now at the planning stage. We always welcome new volunteers to help us make these award winning events even more successful and welcome collaboration with all who share our values and who are committed to FREE community based activities, including participating in the free food network, work parties and so on.
Over the past year we have developed closer links with Kidderminster Transition movement and the wider environmental protection/sustainability community in the area and beyond. These connections have resulted in the Friends participating in the Green Fair at the Boar's Head last month and also being involved again providing a LEAP stall at the second Greener Living Show at Kidderminster Town Hall on 30 January 2016. This is another collaboration with WFDC, Transition and The Big School Birdwatch, look out for more details on our Whats' On page nearer the date.
In the meantime we will be having our annual Christmas Carols in the Park on Friday 11 December, which is a now longstanding collaboration with our partners and close neighbours at St George's Church which, as many will already know - has its own LEAP site in the churchyard.
Ever closer links are being developed with Kidderminster and District Youth Trust who kindly provide the Friends group with meeting facilities at the Youth House where the latest LEAP site is currently being discussed between our two organisations. This will be our first LEAP site on the other side of the ring road from St George's Park, in the town centre where we will be working with KDYT to develop a food crop in the grounds of their site in Bromsgrove Street.
Beyond the immediate area delegates from FoSGP will be attending the AGM of Sandwell Community Service Volunteers in November. We have also recently established a working relationship with the Black Country Foundation Partnership NHS Trust's new Recovery College in Oldbury, an innovative initiative in co-production and co-delivery of training and support for people involved with mental health services across the borough of Sandwell. We hope to contribute our experience of LEAP and other fundraising and organising experiences to the enhance the curriculum of the Recovery College, with a particular focus on community gardening and are pleased to announce this new and exciting collaboration beyond the geographical boundaries of Let's Eat the Park and indeed further afield than the Wyre Forest district or the county of Worcestershire itself.
So, if you have energy, enthusiasm or just curiosity about how a community volunteer group brings about changes in a hard pressed locality by their own efforts and how we also forge links with significant individuals and organisations to make these ideas a reality get in touch with us via the comments on the website below, by email, via the LEAP blog or through our social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Streetlife.