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We did it!

Charlotte Synge raised £570.45 from 15 supporters


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Closed 04/09/2021

raised of £4,500 target by 15 supporters

    Weʼve raised £570 to build a small hut in Empty Common Community Garden for meet ups and educational activities to help people build resilience and joy together.

    Cambridge, Cambridgeshire.
    Funded on Saturday, 4th September 2021

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    So far we have raised £3,400 through our crowdfunding on Just Giving, personal donations into our bank, a Transition Network grant and money from the Co-op Community Fund. Not far to go!

    A big thank you to everyone who has helped us so far.

    Empty Common Community Garden) are a community group which has been running for seven years. Our blog shows the many things we get up to and our annual reviews. We are a part of Transition Cambridge and are run by volunteers. We follow Permaculture's ethics (Earth care, People care, and Fair shares), Permaculture's and Transition Network's approaches and principles so we can endeavour to live in a more sustainable and just way.

    Our aims are to help both the community and environment by providing:

    * a green public space within the city.

    * ways to improve community health and well being

    * increased opportunity for a wider range of social interactions, for example inter-generational, and inter-economic class interactions.

    * ways to foster a sense of community and promote inclusivity and social justice

    * a meeting space for people who are looking for companionship and to develop collaborative and trusting relationships.

    * an educational space for people who wish to respect resource limits, create resilience, learn about sustainable forms of gardening and how to transition to a low carbon lifestyle.

    * practical skills development and learning opportunities.

    * a space for children to explore, learn, play and make friends in.

    * a growing space for those with no garden, can’t lift heavy things or dig, are disabled, in a wheelchair or infirm

    * a gardening space for people where free time is short or erratic, eg. those with young children.

    * a place to grow local organic food to increase our sustainability and resilience.

    * a nature reserve

    * a lovely space for reflection, celebration, rest and to find peace in, especially during the pandemic.

    We grow more than just organic food and flowers, we grow resilience too.

    During the pandemic it has become apparent that we really need more resilient communiities - but what do we need in order to grow these? A healthy natural world, local self-sufficiency and a robust community that is diverse, happy and healthy so it can share skills and adjust to different circumstances. Resilience is what our garden helps to grow well but, with the addition of a meeting/educational hut and bell tent, it would help to grow resilience fantastically.

    Our idea is to build a small hut (floor space of 15 sq m) and buy a large bell tent (6 m diameter).

    This is so we can provide somewhere for the community gardeners, environmental groups and others to meet, make hot drinks and share skills, friendships and ideas as well as to store a library and educational materials and use as a workshop etc. It would be a head, hearts and hands hut. The bell tent would be stored within the hut and would be used for larger events in the garden and also be available for other Transition Network and other groups to use for any number of events around Cambridge and further afield. The hut is to be built, with help from a professional builder, mainly from recycled and sustainable materials and use solar panels as its electricity source. We have already built a compost toilet, been donated many materials and bought more with a £625 grant from Cambridge City Council.

    As a productive, wildlife and educational garden we already have an impact on improving sustainability and working towards a more resilient community, however, without somewhere dry to meet each other, our impact is much reduced. We feel that the combination of an organic food, flower and wildlife garden with the additional, down-to-earth spaces of a hut and bell tent would create a small central eco-centre in the heart of Cambridge - a very valuable resource for today’s world.

    Our journey so far is shown in this happy little video.

    Any funding we receive would:

    1. Allow for the creation of a small eco-centre within Cambridge City.

    2. Provide a large venue (bell tent) for us and many other environmental groups to use in many settings.

    3. Allow for a greater diversity of activities over a longer period of the year within the community garden, so increasing its usefulness to the community and long-term stability.

    4. Help to enable the regeneration of cohesive and resilient communities.

    5. Enable more environmental groups to meet and work in partnership, especially as it is difficult to find somewhere cheap or free to meet as a group in Cambridge.

    6. Provide a teaching base.

    7. Provide a hut which will highlight and educate others on how recycled and natural materials can be used in buildings.

    8. Make it more attractive for people to join in with the community and the garden by providing a place for: making hot drinks, people to sit and relax, sheltering from the weather, children to play, draw, make things, share skills etc.

    People love our garden

    They come to use it for all sorts of things other than gardening. In the pandemic it has been used and appreciated more than ever with poetry, art and music all being inspired by and created within the garden. The Woodcraft Folk, nursery school, home schooled children and tai chi groups also use the garden regularly. Here are just some of the things people have said they appreciate the garden for.

    "From my point of view, I like the fact that, although this time is so weird, nature and the garden keep a similar schedule to last year and last century and provides a constant and a marker of time passed when so much else is on hold". Nicola

    “I often go down there as an escape from the world, and I always feel a weight lifting as I walk down the path towards the garden. It’s an oasis of peace, and a generous community of all sorts of lovely and interesting people.” Sophie

    “During this extremely difficult time in my life Empty Common has very much kept me in touch for over five years with my local community, enabled me to work at my own pace, provided the help and support I've very much needed over these years and even earned me a reputation, in my better years, as 'a prime digger'. The recent development of a home delivery, by one of the gardening gang, of Empty Common's out-of-this world rhubarb has also been much appreciated.” Peter



    Charlotte Synge

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      2 years ago

      Charlotte Synge started crowdfunding

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      Page last updated on: 8/4/2021 14.53



      • Anonymous


        Aug 4, 2021

      • Anonymous


        Apr 19, 2021


      • James, Euan, Esme & Co.

        James, Euan, Esme & Co.

        Mar 4, 2021

        Great work, Charlotte and the whole team - the ECCG is wonderful!


      • Penny Henderson

        Penny Henderson

        Mar 2, 2021


      • Anonymous


        Feb 20, 2021

        All the best.

      • Sarah Oliver

        Sarah Oliver

        Jan 19, 2021


      • Anonymous


        Jan 19, 2021

        Sounds great! Hope you manage to build it soon.

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      About the fundraiser
      Charlotte Synge

      Charlotte Synge

      Cambridge, Cambridgeshire.

      Trained in environmental biology, microbiology, garden design and permaculture. Awarded one of the 50 places on the Independent's Happy List, 2018. A list " that acknowledges those who give rather than take, doing extraordinary things without their own personal gain in mind."

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