Dr Ian Shaw supports young volunteers to build urban farm

Dr Ian Shaw, Associate Professor of Global Security Challenges, has overseen a group of young volunteers building an urban farm in Harehills, Leeds.

The young volunteers, aged nine to 17, have built the farm from scratch at Harehills charity Community Action to Create Hope (CATCH) as part of a project called Grow Together, and are now giving away fresh vegetables they have grown.

Dr Shaw, who has been holding twice-weekly sessions with the young people about plant ecology, food growing, and soil health said “Almost all of the volunteers are from BAME communities and some have not been in this country for very long. Many of the young people don’t have access to green space of any kind at their homes, which are often overcrowded.

The educational farm provided a lifeline during the pandemic and working with plants outdoors helped them connect to nature.”  

As well as teaching the volunteers lifelong farming skills, the aim of the Grow Together project is to provide fresh produce for the Harehills community. Using their new skills, the volunteers have built dozens of raised beds and have planted, cared for, and harvested the produce to hand out to the community at CATCH in Hovingham Avenue. 

Discover more about the young volunteers and read the full news story here.