Founded in 2007 by Stephen Watts and Anne-Marie Culhane, Abundance is a volunteer based organisation that rescues, shares, cooks, and processes fruit which may otherwise go to waste from right across Sheffield.
Most of the trees we pick are in private gardens, where we leave 10% of fruit for wildlife.
If we pick a public fruit tree we leave at least a third of the fruit unpicked so it is available to the community.
Tree owners have the first share, then they donate the fruit they don’t want, volunteers have some and we share the best fruit with the community (e.g. food banks, lunch clubs, support centres)
The rest we cook, preserve or juice together in the community.
We love exploring sweet and savoury ways to cook and preserve fruit and sharing recipes.
Everyone who joins a preservation workshop gets the recipe and a jar of chutney to take home.
All events are an opportunity to meet new people and strengthen social networks, as we are a friendly bunch!
We worked with 3 partner organisations offering weekly Abundance Training/Drop In Sessions, where people gained life and job skills and met friendly faces. Our Community Partners were Shipshape (Sharrow), Parson Cross Initiative, and Timebuilders (City Centre/Upperthorpe).
Certificates for participation with skills learned were awarded.
Abundance also harvested and made chutney city-wide through our volunteer network.
We rescued over 1.4 tonnes of fruit from going to waste.
We shared over 500kg with 59 community groups across Sheffield.
We held 41 harvests, 6 apple juicings, 13 appley cooking sessions, 9 preserve-making sessions and 1 cider pressing. 24 Abundancers gained formal training in Harvest Coordination, Chutney Making, Food Hygiene and Community Fruit Sharing.
Throughout 2016, we engaged over 200 volunteers in our fruity gathering, sharing and enjoying!
Abundance became independent from Grow Sheffield and is in the process of becoming a constituted group.
We are meeting together and consulting Abundancers to develop and plan our work this season and beyond. We always welcome to donations of time, money, glass jars with metal lids and feedback, just get in touch.
We have presented our work at Sheffield Food Festival (as part of Food For Thought events hosted by Regather), Leeds Orchard Project Urban Harvest Conference, and Roshni community centre.
We also hosted an eco-tourism group from Japan!
In Feb 2017, Lush invited us to their global Lush Summit and gave us a lovely write up, with links to other food surplus initiatives.
Just click here to view.
We are also very grateful to Lush Cosmetics and Awards For All (Lottery) for enabling activities through their funding in 2016.