Tag Archives: community

MOD Marine Engineers Doug Stembridge and Tom Street volunteer at Diggin’ It, Plymouth, 4th February 2014

As I’ve previously posted, Diggin’ It is a charity that aims to support schools and isolated members of the community in the development and sustainability of gardens using organic techniques.

Since our 24 hour university project where I visited Diggin’ It for the first time, I’ve continued making trips trips, partly to volunteer myself and partly to continue photographing. 

On this particular day, they had engineers from the MOD volunteering as part of their compulsory training. As they worked and chatted, I photographed their interactions, hoping to capture a moment between the two of them for my current university project – ‘The Relationship’.







All images © Amy Romer 2014

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Diggin’ It, Plymouth, 21st January, 2014


Diggin’ It is a charity that aims to support schools and isolated members of the community in the development and sustainability of gardens using organic techniques.


Dave Smith, Education Outreach Worker and only full-time, paid member of staff at Diggin’ It, Penlee.


Chili plant varieties are a favorite crop as the community is able to use them in different ways, such as to make dyes, chili powder, jams, oils, or to use them as they are.


The Disco Shed will be a place for school children to learn how to grow plants all year round without the use of sunlight. This was the idea of a volunteer who saw the technique used in a space station.


As well as rearing chickens for eggs, their manure is used in aquaponics to cultivate plants symbiotically.


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Penryn/Falmouth Foodbank

In the last 12 months, the number of people requiring help from foodbanks in the UK have gone up by 40%.

In Cornwall, the number has doubled. This has lead to an enquiry lead by David Cameron.

Evidence from Trussell Trust foodbanks shows that rising living costs and stagnant wages are forcing more people to live on a financial knife edge resulting in any change in circumstance potentially forcing people into poverty. Even marginal shifts in prices when people don’t have elasticity in their personal finances can have a major impact. Food prices have risen by 12.6% above inflation over the past six years and rising energy prices this winter are likely to see more people forced to choose between eating and heating. People using foodbanks have started giving back food items that need cooking because they can’t afford to turn on the electricity.

Many people on low-incomes are also being impacted by the implementation of April’s welfare reforms. Trussell Trust foodbanks are reporting increased referrals as a result of the spare room subsidy, sanctioning and confusion caused by the devolution of the Social Fund.

The Penryn/Falmouth branch are finding an increased number of people that have never needed or even considered using the foodbank before. Referees can understandably feel embarrassed or ashamed to feel the need to ask for help but it is becoming progressively evident that the foodbank is being required on a much more national level, with government enquiries taking place on a local and national level.


Volunteers are under pressure to sort through and organise donations in order for them to be distributed accurately to the many people requiring them.


Time is taken to ensure that each individual, couple or family receives a balanced variety of food, which is specific to their needs.


The foodbank often find themselves with an abundance of tinned food but are unable to give families with babies the bare essentials such as UHT milk.

All images © Amy Romer, 2013

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