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Here For The Communi-Tea

At Dorset Tea we want to connect with the local community as much as possible which is why we have launched ‘Communi-Tea’, our new grant-based initiative. We’ll be partnering with local groups and charities who come together to connect for a shared cause.

This week we met up with our very first recipient – Grounded Community a charity based in Boscombe, Bournemouth. They work hard to provide the community with access to healthy, nutritious food through their education and workshops from their very own Secret Garden. They also redistribute food surplus and create networks to help others share food.

Our donation will enable Grounded Community to complete its outdoor kitchen space in The Secret Garden, behind St Clement’s Church in Boscombe.  With its own water irrigation and solar panel system, the off-grid kitchen is a communal space for the charity’s 100 weekly volunteers, 20 families and community members to enjoy – essential to supporting the garden’s workshops and general volunteer sessions, held every Monday and Friday from 9am-1pm.

Why are we partnering with them?

We recognise the global challenges we are all currently facing. As individuals going about our daily lives we are all experiencing the cost of living crisis. We have always been inspired by the beauty of Dorset as a county, it is at the heart of what we do. Now we want to give something back. As well as a monetary donation we will also be providing them with an on-going ready supply of Dorset Tea to keep their volunteers refreshed as they go about their great work. Tea has always been a way of bringing people together and we are happy to be providing our cups of sunshine to the volunteers and local families.

Enabling the community to grow through shared skills

Grounded have the ultimate ambition of allowing our community to become self-sufficient by teaching food growing skills. From their Secret Garden in Boscombe they run practical workshops and have experts on hand to offer advice. They recognise that not everyone has a large garden, or even a garden at all, and their advice reflects this. Whether you want to learn how to grow greens on your windowsill or how to properly irrigate your garden, they are here to help. These are just some of the reasons they’re passionate about home grown food:

  • Growing food for yourself saves you money.
  • You know exactly where your food is coming from and are self-empowered to eat well.
  • You can learn and connect with a group of likeminded people, swap seeds and advice.
  • It’s a great way to get active and get outside.
  • Home-grown tastes so much better!
  • You will be actively contributing to a more sustainable community.

What’s more, for those who need extra help getting set up they can arrange this too. From home-visit consultations to the provision of pots and soil (some services on a donation basis, pay as you feel).

Feeding the community

As Grounded explain, food security is a very real problem in Boscombe which is why they established their ‘Feed the Community’ project. The aim is getting food to those who need it most. They distribute freshly grown fruit and vegetables, plus surplus food from local supermarkets, cafes and businesses. Individual households as well as charities and community groups who require help with food provision can register with them.

Uniting the community through food

Whilst Grounded help individual households to produce their own food, their aim is to unite the community as a whole, using food as the catalyst. Through their workshops, voluntary sessions and food gatherings they bring people together in all manner of ways. They have created a network of growers and work with other local initiatives.

Michael French, Grounded Community’s Founder and Projects Co-ordinator, commented:  “This donation from Dorset Tea means the world to us, the outdoor kitchen is a vital space for us to work with our volunteers, to host the local community, and events too. To be able to have this up and running will allow us to do so much more. And it goes without saying, the tea will be so welcome for our Feed the Community project. We all know that people are struggling with rising food bills and the cost of living. Keeping up with these demands is our priority. Dorset Tea’s generosity means so much, not just to us, but to the whole Grounded Community and those that need our support the most in.” 

Dorset Tea is looking to support a series of community charities and initiatives – you can nominate a local cause, if you are aware of any that need funding, awareness and tea - please get in touch here: chat@dorsetteauk.co.uk.