Growing Change win game-changing $100,000 grant

Home grown talent Growing Change were awarded $100,000 last night to establish the exciting Fremantle Social Farm through the Fremantle Foundation’s Impact100 Fremantle giving circle.

The farm will supply local restaurants with fresh organic produce and offer programs for people experiencing mental health issues and social isolation.

The winner was selected from four finalists who pitched their projects to the Impact100 Fremantle donors.

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In 2015 the focus for Impact100 Fremantle was Building Community Spirit. The giving circle is growing every year and now sees at least 100 donors contributed $1,000 annually. Donors pool the contributions to make high impact grants to local charities and projects. The donors’ select the winning project.

This year a record $130,000 was raised allowing the three other finalists, Befriend, InclusionWA and Lifting Horizons (Night Hoops), to walk away with $10,000.

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Growing Change was founded by Renée Gardiner, who lost her mother to suicide in 2010. Her personal experience highlighted a gap in services to address social isolation and to create employment opportunities for people like her mother.

The Impact100 grant allows Growing Change to:
  • Establish Fremantle Social Farm using a vacant bowling green at the North Fremantle Bowling Club for food production
  • Provide 100 scholarships for Truly Living Well a 12-week social and therapeutic horticulture course for people experiencing social isolation, with a focus on mental health and wellbeing
  • Provide opportunities for Truly Living Well graduates to lease individual or micro- business allotments and continue harvesting produce for personal consumption or sale through Growing Change’s customer networks
  • Supply local, fresh, organic vegetables to Fremantle restaurants and residents.
  • Establish themselves as a self-sustaining social enterprise as revenue will fund ongoing operations, with profit invested in establishing new farms in Fremantle and beyond.

The purpose of Fremantle Social Farm is to break down the barriers to social isolation, leading to greater support for change initiatives that increase participation. The farm promotes social connection, positive health and wellbeing, active aging and economic participation through horticultural programs, with a particular focus on being mentally healthy.