Funding to boost ‘Diabeaters’ under city’s Grow Share Cook scheme

More people in Plymouth will enjoy healthier food on their plates, thanks to the Connected Communities Innovation Fund.

People living with diabetes will get an extra healthy helping hand as part of the Plymouth’s Grow, Share, Cook ‘Diabeaters’ project.

The scheme uses volunteers to grow fresh fruit and vegetables, develop community gardens and distribute food, as well as hold healthy cookery sessions.

As part of the Cities of Service Network, Plymouth will share a slice of a £235,425 grant and will use it to help people living with diabetes eat more healthily and cook with confidence.

Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Housing and Co-operative Development said: “We want to get more volunteers to grow fresh fruit and veg as well as deliver their produce to people who have diabetes.

“We are looking at helping 50 or so households who have someone living with the condition and our initial evidence shows that diabetes sufferers who have healthier food and better eating habits don’t need to visit their doctors so much. It’s a small intervention that can have big long term benefits, for those with the condition, for the health system, for the city.

“I’m really pleased that our existing Cities of Service Grow, Share, Cook project is being supported to be more successful, to bring along more volunteers to help more people in need.”

Partners in Grow, Share, Cook include Tamar Grow Local, Food Is Fun, and Plymouth Community Homes.

Plymouth is part of the Cities of Service Network, which also includes Bristol City Council, City of York Council and Barnsley Council. The network is one 16 organisations selected to take part in Connected Communities Innovation Fund.

The fund is a partnership between Nesta and the Office for Civil Society at Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), providing up to £2.7 million in grants, as well as significant non-financial support, to the best innovations that mobilise people’s time and talents.

It is designed to encourage more people to volunteer alongside public services, and inspire new ways of giving for those who haven’t previously volunteered.

Some of the other Connected Innovation Funds grantees are:

●Church Action on Poverty – £170,250 to expand it’s Self-Reliant Groups model which arrange for a small groups of people – usually from disadvantaged backgrounds – to meet weekly, save money, share skills, and use their savings to set up micro-enterprises or support one another with loans.

●Equal Arts – £244,000 to expand it’s HenPower project by 60 per cent across the country. The project uses hen-keeping to build relationships between care home residents and wider communities to improve wellbeing, reduce loneliness and depression.

●In2Science –£250,000 to support local 16 to 17 olds from disadvantaged backgrounds to go on to study STEM degrees at university by leveraging the expertise and passion of local scientists, engineers, and technology and maths professionals.