Change for the better

Renee Gardiner and Jess Stenhouse from Growing Change. Picture: Dean Smith Photography
Renee Gardiner and Jess Stenhouse from Growing Change. Picture: Dean Smith Photography

AN organisation looking to establish a social farm in North Fremantle has been given a boost after winning the Fremantle Foundation⿿s Impact100 grant.

Growing Change aims to set up an urban micro farm and horticultural therapy program on the unused green at North Fremantle Bowling Club in a bid to promote social inclusion, a project that received a considerable leg up when they received the Impact100 $100,000 grant recently.

Growing Change founder Renee Gardiner said the win had made them fall in love with Fremantle even more.

“The monetary component of the grant is massive and means a lot to us, but knowing that we have the Fremantle community behind us, money can’t buy that,” she said.

“We’re beyond grateful and the impact of this funding is going to be massive, allowing us to get off the ground in Freo and expand and grow beyond that through generating our own income and selling our fresh produce locally.

“We’re using the money to establish the farm and set up the infrastructure we need to run a commercial farming operation which includes ground preparation, soil improvements, irrigation, packing and washing facilities, a cool room and a storage shed.”

Three other finalists in Befriend Inc, Inclusion WA and Lifting Horizons (Night Hoops) received $10,000 each.

Fremantle Foundation executive officer Dylan Smith said this year saw Impact100 take another big step up.

“There was a record number of members and a record total amount of donations,” he said.

“Growing Change has a brilliant project and they have worked very hard to get where they are now. In 12 months the results will be amazing.”