Who We Are

Keeley Smith and Heidi Seary are highly qualified and motivated professionals who are the Directors of Growing Connection C.I.C.

Growing Connections CIC provides expertise and consultancy, education and training for community gardens, care farms, school farms and gardens and city farms. 

We support these organisations and the staff and volunteers who work in these organisations to learn how to run, manage and work effectively. We deliver licensed and CPD training helping people to upskill and increase their knowledge and employment opportunities. We  also support local growing projects, schools, and community growing groups to find ways to bring in income and capacity building.

We deliver a range of training programs both online and face to face as well as deliver personalised consultancy to organisations. 

The Team

Our work

We deliver quality face to face and online training in a range of subjects including  courses for those working with schools or in schools who garden and keep animals in educational settings to support learning and well being. We deliver the Cultivating Schools course and the European ECVET accredited Gardeniser course.

We also deliver throughout the year shorter 3 hour webinars on specific subjects such as:

  • Sustainability and regenerative agriculture/permaculture.
  • Strategic planning and management
  • Exotics care
  • Livestock care
  • Small animal care
  • Learning and curriculum
  • Supporting Social, Emotional, Mental Health- (SEMH)

 We can deliver bespoke consultancy to community groups and schools interested in outdoor education on a wide range of subjects including:

 •Livestock • Poultry • small animals and exotics • Managing children’s Health and well being through growing and animals(SEMH) • Setting up a vegetable garden at schools or with schools. 

 Contact us on admin@growingconnections.org.uk to find out more. 

 

 

Courses 

Cultivating Schools Online Course

Gardeniser online and face to face courses

Are you a teacher or community garden working in or with schools teaching children about how to look after plants and animals and want support to enable learning and wellbeing in schools?

Our online course covers the ethos behind why growing and keeping animals benefits both learning and wellbeing outcomes and the practicalities of working with schools and other education settings.

 

For further information contact us at admin@growingconnections.org.uk

Gardeniser is a  European training programme funded originally by Erasmus+ that aims to upskill Gardenisers across Europe. 

 

The Gardeniser course is a formal qualification that recognises the professional skills required for an organising role within a community garden, farm or growing space teaches ‘everything you need to know about running a community garden apart from the gardening'.

 

The next course will be face to face in the Midlands 12th-16th February 2024. For further information please contact admin@growingconnections.org.uk 

To apply for a place on this course go to the application form which can be found here.

Consultancy

Keeley and Heidi possess a wealth of expertise and knowledge, enabling them to provide comprehensive consultancy and support across various areas. Their areas of specialisation encompass:

 

- The establishment of new community growing initiatives, care farm projects, and school farm endeavours. 

 

-Guidance on governance and legal structures, ensuring compliance and efficiency. 

 

-Recruiting and managing volunteers

 

- Negotiating  and creating land agreements. 

 

- Animal care, encompassing livestock, poultry, small animals, and exotics. 

 

- Managing children's health and wellbeing through the integration of growing practices and animal interaction.

 

 With their professional acumen, Keeley and Heidi are well-equipped to address a diverse range of needs and deliver exceptional results.

Teacher Keeley Smith is currently Assistant CEO of Gloverspiece Mini Farm Group overseeing a Care Farm, animal sanctuary, college and SEN School

 

Heidi Seary has over 20 years of training experience supporting a wide range of organisations in the community growing sector. 

Can we help you?

Do you want to know more or you have a specific question? Please get in touch. We would love to hear from you. 

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