July 22

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Cosmos and cake

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This week we held two plant sales, one at GSK Stockley Park and one at GSK Ware, to raise money and awareness about You Grow They Grow, Project Hope UK’s initiative to eradicate childhood malnutrition in Munsieville by 2020. I think some of the things I hadn’t fully appreciated until I started working with Project Hope UK are the lifelong effects of malnutrition. It’s easy to think about the immediate consequences of being hungry, but if you’re chronically malnourished, your body is less able to fight illness and infection. As a child, if you survive these more prevalent infections, you’re more likely to be weaker, your growth stunted. You’re more likely to miss periods of school, significantly reducing your opportunity for education. Without an education you have little chance of getting a good job and escaping the cycle of poverty. And so it continues. And it’s not just about making sure children have enough to eat; it’s about having the right balance too. The Thoughtful Path, Munsieville plans to help the community, firstly through the heart gardens which with a little care will provide vegetables over 11 months of the year, giving children the vitamins and minerals they need. There will a dedicated nutrition centre too, a place where families can come to get nutrition advice and clinical intervention, and a play area so the kids will be itching to visit.

We really hoped to raise awareness about the garden twinning scheme through the plant sales. Gardeners in the UK have the opportunity to twin their garden with a brand new Munsieville heart garden for a family. What I think is great about this scheme is that the money doesn’t go into a faceless pot; your money goes to directly support your twinned garden. You get to find out about the family you’re helping and can watch their progress with the garden you helped to build. It only costs £4 per month or £42 per year, and the You Grow They Grow website www.yougrowtheygrow.com has more details. I’m going to twin my own garden so I’ll make sure I post about my twinned Munsieville garden.

As you can see from the pictures, Paul and Anette really have an eye for display, and an amazing amount of horticultural knowledge. As a complete novice myself, I’m learning so much. Thank you to my colleagues at Ware for their support of the sale, especially Donna, Alison, Rebecca and Alex who baked and donated their delicious cakes. It was a great success; I hope you all enjoyed it