Grow & Eat

An allotment with raised beds
Grow & Eat

Are you an individual or community group interested in utilising public spaces for food production and improving community health? Or perhaps you represent an organisation with unutilised land seeking to contribute to your community’s well-being?

If you’ve answered YES, keep reading! 

What is Grow & Eat

A collaborative venture by North Tyneside VODA with support from Public Health and Active North Tyneside, Grow & Eat empowers communities across the region to effectively utilise available spaces, both public and private, for food growing and enhanced physical and mental health.

The project’s primary objectives are:

  • Identification of suitable spaces: This includes outdoor areas in community centres, business-owned land, and unutilised public land with potential for food cultivation.
  • Skills development: Grow & Eat offers training and development opportunities to groups and individuals, covering diverse growing methods, sustainable practices, indoor and vertical growing techniques, and more.
  • Community support: The project facilitates the formation of new community groups and assists both new and existing groups in securing funding for their projects.
  • Collaboration and knowledge sharing: Networking opportunities are provided for groups to share experiences and support each other’s endeavours.
  • Mental and physical health awareness: Grow & Eat actively raises awareness about the numerous physical and mental health benefits associated with gardening.
  • Alignment with local initiatives: Where appropriate, the project supports North Tyneside Council’s Healthy Weight Declaration commitments.

How to get involved

If you are a business, community centre or charitable organisation:

Do you have some outdoor space that’s in need of a bit of TLC? Would you like to welcome volunteers and community groups in your space that will keep it looking vibrant and healthy while they grow food for themselves and their communities? Grow & Eat gives you the opportunity to make a difference in your community. 

If you are part of a community group or would like to start a community group to grow some food:

Do you need help setting up your group or is your existing group looking to access some funding for the purpose of starting or advancing your food growing journey? Grow & Eat can help you achieve your goals.  

If you are a volunteer looking to get involved with the Grow & Eat project:

Do you have skills and time to share with the groups as they set on creating their community growing spaces? Volunteering is an excellent way to get involved with your community, get a sense of achievement, meet like-minded people and earn experience and skills in a new area.  

Would you like to know more?

If you would like to know more, please click on the button below and complete the expression of interest form, or contact:

Grow & Eat Community Grant

The Grow & Eat Community Grant is part of the Grow & Eat project, a collaboration by North Tyneside VODA with support from Public Health and Active North Tyneside.

The aim of the project is to help communities in the North Tyneside area learn how to make more efficient use of their available space, whether that is public or private, in order to grow food and improve their physical and mental health.

About the grant

The grant aims to help beneficiaries work towards their goal of developing their space to become an active and useful hub for their community.  Somewhere people can come together to socialise, be more active and learn about the benefits of healthy fresh food, through the shared activity of gardening and growing food.

Who can apply?

Voluntary and community organisations and groups either based in North Tyneside, or which benefit North Tyneside residents. Examples of organisations that can apply include:

  • Constituted groups
  • Social enterprises with a charitable purpose
  • Registered charities

How to apply


If you are unsure whether your organisation is eligible to apply for the grant, please contact Grow & Eat Development Officer at [email protected].

The following will not be considered for the grant:

  • Organisations not based in or not benefitting North Tyneside residents.
  • Individuals
  • Sole traders
  • For-profit organisations
  • Organisations that have already been awarded a Grow & Eat grant in the past 12 months

Funding available

The updated grant has three tiers of funding available, from £250 to £750, depending on eligibility. Please refer to the application document for full details. or contact the Grow & Eat Development Worker to discuss further.

By email: [email protected]

By post: C/O Vicky Batsioudi – Grow & Eat Development Officer
North Tyneside VODA
Spirit of North Tyneside Wing
2nd Floor Customer First Centre
16 The Forum
NE28 8JR

A Beginner's Guide to Growing Your Own Food

Grow & Eat how to guide

Testimonial: Friends of the Rising Sun Country Park

“I am really enjoying volunteering at the Backyard Project at the Rising Sun. I am quite new to the group having no experience at all with growing fruit and vegetables. It has given me a great deal of self-satisfaction of learning from the wealth of knowledge the other volunteers have and sharing our produce with people visiting the centre. It’s done my mental wellbeing no end of good; working the soil, being outdoors, seeing and tasting the fruits of our labour. I am very happy being involved with this wonderful project”. Jan, member of the group.

Testimonial: LD:NorthEast

M., a 58-year-old individual with Autism who lives alone, experienced isolation for many years due to difficulties in making friends. After attending a healthy cooking course at LD: North East, he joined the gardening group and formed great friendships with the other members. Initially quiet during a mental health workshop, he later opened up about his low mood and feelings of loneliness. Staff members supported him to visit his GP and he is now receiving assistance and actively engaging in more social activities at LD: North East. “It has been remarkable to see M. growing in confidence and leaving each week with a smile on his face.”

A quote from M: “Before this I used to just sit in my flat all day. It was so boring and I just thought that would be like that for the rest of my life. Coming here with my friends has gave me hope that I’m not going to be on my own forever. And, if I have a problem with anything, I just tell people here and they are kind and listen.”

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