The Elite Volunteer Squad!

Here at Grow Sheffield HQ we’ve been discussing the development of our volunteer opportunities for some time.  We are incredibly lucky to have a number of long term volunteers who support the organisation in a number of ways and with a great deal of expertise.  With the success of the Big Dig project and an increase in numbers of people who enquire about volunteering with us we decided to create some additional roles which would enable us to support people in more substantial tasks and would give them a way to be involved more regularly and develop their own skills and interests within the organisation.
For a number of the roles we’d be pleased to have a team of a few people as this will enable you to support one another and achieve more so there will usually be more than one place available.  For all of the roles there is an expected minimum number of weekly/monthly hours that you would be asked to contribute and in return Grow Sheffield would provide you with space to work, a support network of other staff and volunteers and skills specific training for the role, as well as access to other training delivered to all staff and volunteers.
Take a look at the roles and if you are interested in any of them get in touch on to request a full role description and an application form.

Grow Sheffield support An Evening with Esteli

On 16th March three of our staff team were involved in supporting Sheffield’s twin town group, the Sheffield Esteli Society, as they celebrated the end of Esteli Week (11th-16th March) with an Evening with Esteli.
Tom and Daniele were a slick team as the bar tenders serving up Nicaraguan rum cocktails, organic cloud forest coffee from Esteli and Pinolillo, a delicious soft drink made with toasted cornmeal, vanilla, cinammon, ground cocoa and rice milk.  Mmmmm.  Coralie was master of Ceremonies and introduced the various acts who performed in Sheffield as well as co-ordinating with groups in Esteli who were having a party at the same time and with whom we shared a simultaneous skype broadcast.  It was a great experience and we were really excited that so many people came and found out a little more about our twin town.
Grow Sheffield is in the process of developing our own twinning links with growing projects in Esteli and we’d be very happy to hear from anyone who would like to volunteer with us to help develop these links.  If you’d like to be involved get in touch with Coralie at

Arbourthorne Food Growers – Join our new group

Want to grow your own vegetables but dont know where to start or dont have the time? Then join Arbourthorne Food Growers – Its free!

Our Community Grower James has started a new group in Arbourthorne.

You give;

  • A couple of hours to join a small team of volunteers to help in a neighbours garden

You get:

  • Help from a team of volunteers to help set yo a fruit and veg patch in your garden
  • Advice and support from experienced growers
  • Free seeds to help get you started

Everyone welcome! This is suitable for all levels of experience – especially beginners.

If you dont have a garden you can still join as a volunteer to help others and you can pick up tips on growing food in containers.

For more info or to join contact James at or call the Grow Sheffield Office on 0114 258 0784.


Grow Sheffield Spring Social on the 20th March

Now that the sun is starting to shine and we are all coming out of hibernation, the team here at Grow Sheffield have decided that it would be a great idea to organise a social event for all our Grow Sheffield friends!  We would love it if you could pop in and see us and say hello.
The Grow Sheffield social will be held upstairs in the Red Deer, 18 Pitt Street, Sheffield, S1 4DD from 8pm on Weds 20th March. We have attached a poster – please feel free to pass this around.
Everyone is welcome – there will be music and general Grow Sheffield shenanigans!  It’s a great way to meet new people or catch up with old faces. And if that isnt exciting enough then you can even take part in our vegetable themed quiz!
We hope you can join us for a drink on the 20th March,
The Grow Sheffield Team

Be part of the BIG DIG in Sheffield!

From Saturday 16th March until Saturday 23rd March, 270 gardens across 27 UK towns and cities are opening their gates to fledgling green-fingered enthusiasts. This will be the largest ever Big Dig community gardening week, engaging thousands of people in volunteer-run food-growing projects.

In Sheffield, 10 community gardens are throwing their gates open and asking volunteers to lend a hand. Whether you’re an experienced grower or a complete novice, your interest and support is vital for these projects, and they’re more than willing to pass on their knowledge if you fancy growing your own potatoes or peas!
However, community gardens offer much more than skills and knowledge about food and where it comes from. They provide a social space for people to meet and get to know each other. Many communities, such as Hollinsend in Sheffield, have turned pieces of derelict land into places that everyone can enjoy while getting more connected to the food they eat. Hollinsend Methodist Church is now home to a vibrant community garden that is transforming the neighbourhood.
Interest in where our food comes from and how it is produced has long been on the news agenda, and more so in recent weeks. Clare Horrell from the Big Dig said: “The horsemeat scandal has highlighted many problems in our food chain. One of the best ways to know where you food comes from is to grow it yourself. With huge allotment waiting lists, for those who don’t have a garden, getting involved in your local community growing space is a great way to get ‘own-grown’ produce.”
You can use our website to find a garden close to you and sign up to volunteer. Visit So, whether you love the outdoors, want to help out a local community project, or just find out more about growing your own food, come on down to your local Big Dig site in Sheffield!
Contact Tom Sutton for more details at


The Big Dig Day – the biggest ever community gardening day

Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming today announced that 24 towns and cities, including Sheffield, have signed up to be part of the biggest ever community gardening volunteering day on 16th March 2013.

200 gardens across England will be taking part, with six sites already signed up in Sheffield. To date the Big Dig project has recruited 5,000 new volunteers and created over 18,000 opportunities for volunteers to take part in community gardening nationwide. The Big Dig Day will hope to tap into and channel the enthusiasm that exists both for gardening and volunteering and promote the positive effects that this can have on the health and wellbeing of individuals and their communities.

Linda Cleave, a volunteer from the People’s Community Garden in Southampton is in her 70s and has been coming to the garden for about 3 years. She had significant health problems in her childhood. She is a widow and both her grown-up children live elsewhere. Linda says: “Everything I do is solitary, and I wanted to meet people. I feel I have a use – that I’m putting something back into the community. I need fresh air and exercise for my health – and to keep going. So if I have something to get me up and out in the morning – like the People’s CommunityGarden – it’s great for me!”

The Big Dig’s Clare Horrell said “We are delighted with the enthusiasm that our partner towns and cities have shown in taking part in the Big Dig volunteering day. We want to use the Big Dig Day to get thousands of new people involved and reap the positive effects that a community garden can have on them individually and on their communities”

Carlton Smith, Chief Executive of the Bradford Community Environment Project said “We are delighted to be part of the Big Dig and are looking forward to welcoming new people to our gardens. Working with your local community or creating your own space to grow fruit and vegetables is good for you physically, spiritually and is good for your pocketFood growing is fun and a great way to meet new people. We want more people to experience the benefits to their health and wellbeing that comes from community gardening”

Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, said ““The Big Dig has a fantastic record of engaging people in community gardening and this event will provide a real focus to help get even more people involved. The Olympics showed how much of a positive difference people can make by giving their time through volunteering and we should harness some of this enthusiasm to help the amazing range of community gardens that we have”.

To get involved with The Big Dig in Sheffield, either as a volunteer, or as a community growing site, email Tom at Grow Sheffield at or check out the online map at

Would you like to join our Core Team?

Our Core Team is the governing body for Grow Sheffield and manages the strategic vision of the organisation.

Our current Chair (and secretary!) Vanessa Senger has decided that she will not stand for re-election next year or take responsibility for the Secretary vacancy from 2013/14, partly because she is planning to travel abroad later in the year, but mostly because she feels that  it is  time for someone else to have a go! (Her words not ours!)

We hold core team meetings every two months and we have a co-chair (Jake Harries) who will be an immense support to the new person. We will need someone who has (or is willing to absorb!) an overview of Grow Sheffield and its strategic direction and its role in the city. For this reason, it is important that we have a long hand over period so we would hope to recruit the new appointments as soon as possible.

Please note that these are voluntary roles.

Anyone who is interested then please contact Vanessa on

Trees and Treats!

Sharrow Club and Abundance Sheffield have teamed up to create a  feel good treat. For £30 you can receive a fruit tree and membership to Sharrow Club

This new club has been set up by Creative Action Network to raise funds throughout the year for the Sharrow Festival and Sharrow Lantern Carnival. As well as creating an annual programme of fundraiser events at The Old Junior School, South View Road, offering event and publicity support to individuals and venues who want to run their own fundraisers, you can also become a member.

As well contributing to the overall fundraising effort of both events (of which combined cost over £14,000) membership also offers reduced entry to 5 events in Sharrow, regular offers and deals from local venues and organisations and first invites to special events, previews and workshops. Fancy attending one of our Secret Supper Clubs, Family Cook Alongs, creative workshops or evening events for a reduced fee?

Abundance Sheffield, who work with volunteers to harvest seasonal fruit across the city and redistribute to the local community on a non profit making basis, have handgrafted these fruit trees (mostly plums, gages and cherries);  so why not order your tree and membership deal now!

For more information or 07854983197

Welcome to our new team member

Tom James has unfortunately left us for the warmer southern climates! However, we are really pleased to announce that Danny Antrobus is our new recruit and he has taken over as the Sheffield Food Network Project Leader. The Sheffield Food Network will be ready to launch very soon and Danny will be busy organising a series of “launch” activities. As ever if you know of any businesses that you think should be on the network then please get in contact with us at Alternatively we have a great team of volunteers who help out with this project so please do let us know if you would like to get involved with that.

Pop in to our pop in cafe this Friday in Beighton!

Come and have a cup of tea and some cake with us this Friday!

Every Friday we hold a “pop in cafe” between 1-3pm (term-time) at the Beighton TARA at 1 Rose Avenue, Beighton, South East  Sheffield, S20 1FZ . Come along for a free cuppa and you even get a slice of home made cake!

Grow Sheffield, Westfield Sports College and Beighton TARA have teamed to organise a pop in cafe and gardening club on a Friday afternoon. The café will provide an opportunity for people to meet up, learn and share a wide variety of food growing skills and have a cuppa served from local young people from Westfield Sports College.

Grow Sheffield’s experienced Community Grower will be able to show the attendees how to grow from a small pot or bucket so that everyone feels that this is something they can do – regardless of where they live or whether they have access to a garden.  The group will also have a chance to taste some of the foods in a way perhaps they haven’t before, for example,  courgette chocolate cake!

This project has been funded by Sheffield City Council’s Reducing Isolation and Lonliness Fund.

Contact for more info.