Growing Resilience: Digging Deeper

Image shows a vegetable bed with a gardening fork stuck in the ground. There are logos representing Social Farms & Gardens and The National Lottery Community Fund.

Growing Resilience: Digging Deeper is a five-year project based in Northern Ireland. It enables community growing volunteers to connect, share skills and support each other.

Working together can strengthen individual resilience and benefit the community growing sector as a whole. Research shows that shared networks (social capital) can mean better health and well-being. 

Growing Resilience: Digging Deeper is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund July 2019 – July 2024.

Please read our independent project evaluation here.


  • Enable community growing volunteers to connect and share skills, building confidence and support
  • Organise networking forums and practical skills workshops across Northern Ireland 
  • Deepen resilience and sustainable working in an ever-changing financial landscape
  • Develop to cover all local Council areas depending on need


  • Published a resilience report to summarise sector need and recommendations for Northern Ireland
  • Expanded the project into Newry Mourne and Down, Derry City and North Belfast 
  • Worked with 20 gardening groups in Fermanagh & Tyrone, Strabane, Bann, North Antrim and Antrim
  • Brought people together with well-attended networking forums in Omagh and Belfast
  • Facilitated skill sharing on topics like soil health, fermenting goods and community composting 


> Read more about project benefits

> Find out more about social capital and resilience

> See other projects in Northern Ireland

Contact us

If you’d like to be added to the mailing list for a Growing Resilience network or to find out more about the project, please email Miriam Turley at [email protected] or call 07725699442. 

“Community gardening makes a unique contribution to community development. It provides a communal space for people to come together to socialise and enjoy growing healthy fresh food.

When we slow down to the pace of nature, we relax; giving real health benefits to our physical and mental wellbeing. When we grow food in a community space there are huge social benefits for ourselves and our community.

We see it all the time – that little bit of magic that happens when people are brought together in these spaces; and sometimes we see that the simplest projects are achieving the greatest impact to personal and community health and wellbeing. This programme nurtures and sustains these groups, helping them to thrive into the future.”

Patricia Wallace, Northern Ireland Manager

Our Work

We are the leading UK charity dedicated to supporting city farms, community gardens, care farms & other green spaces.

Why Join

Your services are free, relevant and have promoted growth which makes you more popular with us.” – Community Garden member.