Battling On – Looking To The Future
Battling On is based on a 124 acre farm in Cornwall and despite the picturesque coves, fishing villages and rolling farmland, Cornwall is a very poor county with some areas being among the most deprived in the UK. Simon Reeve’s TV documentary, Cornwall showed the cruel reality of living in these socio-economically deprived communities where reliance on foodbanks and crisis loans are an everyday reality.
By Nikki Markham MBE
Cornwall relies heavily on the tourism and hospitality industry with a disproportional amount of people in seasonal work which all but dried up during the lockdowns. This in turn led to many individuals and families living in crisis, unable to pay bills or put food on the table. Throughout this period, Battling On provided food and hygiene parcels not only to Veterans but to anyone in need.
Battling On is recognised nationally for its innovative approaches to complex social problems and as we started to emerge from the restrictions and hardships caused by Covid 19 we have been looking to the future at how best to tackle the situation of the poverty trap seasonal work and low wages creates.
The Growing Together Project is an ambitious five-year programme that aims to upskill individuals by training them to work within the horticultural, agricultural and food retail sectors which are desperately short of skilled labour.
It will create a sustainable, environmentally friendly food production hub which will provide low-cost seasonal produce distributed through community networks. The project will also provide volunteering opportunities and gardening classes for those living in rural isolation.
At the heart of the Growing Together Project is the Research Market Garden which is being built to provide a platform for industry experts to work with food producers and businesses to adapt their practices to become more environmentally sustainable while future proofing their businesses against the inevitable impact climate change will have on their production.
The Growing Together Project has already got off to a flying start with Kenny Raybould displaying his vision for the market garden at the RHS Tatton Park Horticultural Show and creating a film that was shown at the G7 conference in Cornwall.
Contact Battling On:
Tel: 01579 384798