• SGN Press release


    Green-fingered volunteers prove they’re the cream of the crop 

    1 August 2017

    Three teams of our volunteers dug deep this month to help out Washington-based market garden community project Rock Farm. 

    Rock Farm is a working market garden community project of One Church Brighton near Washington, which was set up in 2014 to help improve the mental and physical wellbeing of people in the surrounding area.

    The project runs a beautiful six-acre acre site where it grows fruit and vegetables to sell to local markets and shops. It welcomes people who are experiencing difficulties into its community, giving them support and a chance to work in nature.  
    The 15 volunteers, all from our Horley head office, split into groups to help out at Rock Farm over three days this month. While there they built hen houses for the market garden’s new chickens, weeded beds for tomato plants in the polytunnels and planted beetroot and runner bean seeds. 

    Nr-17095a Rock-Farm-CAP

    The market garden sells a lot of its produce at local farmers markets, so the team’s final task was to pick raspberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, lettuce and chard, and then wash and pack upthe fruit and vegetables ready to be sold.

    The group offered their support to the charity as part of our Community Action Programme, which gives each employee one day a year on company time to make a difference in their local community.

    It was the second year running they had helped out at the market garden, as Metering Support Manager Susie Goss explained: “We volunteered here last summer and enjoyed it so much that everyone wanted to come back again this year. The charity was so appreciative of what we managed to do, it felt really worthwhile.” 

    Ben Szobody, Projects Development Manager for One Church, said: “There’s something extraordinary about the invigorating benefits when people have access to a piece of rural land. That’s true for our vulnerable users, but also for office-based workers. SGN has given us a massive boost in building a truly therapeutic and sustainable slice of land that is open to anyone for therapy and volunteering.”