Cultivate Tees Valley (CTV) is an environmental organisation that works in partnership to build a better world by growing food security for those living across the Tees Valley and by transforming unused urban and rural land into spaces where food is grown. Initiatives focus on combating isolation and improving mental health by connecting people through food and environmental initiatives, with a strong focus on recruiting and equipping teams of volunteers, alongside training and education programmes. Programmes incorporate art to help beautify more derelict spaces and up-cycling of items that would normally go to the landfill. Cultivate currently works across the Tees Valley developing urban food growing gardens and within ten youth centres across Stockton running an environmental education programme that aims to educate young people on the issues of climate change and how they can help change their environment for the better.
The work of Cultivate Tees Valley has been partly inspired by Bonton Farms in Dallas, Texas, an organsation that one of our Directors worked alongside during his time living in the US. Bonton is located in an area with high levels of poverty, terrible health outcomes and poor access to fresh food. Bonton Farms was set up to grow fresh food for local people to combat their health and hunger issues, and put food on their tables. The other great impact of their work on their community was through the work they did mentoring local people through the running of the farm while providing meaningful activities for those facing isolation and loneliness.
Arly Park is based in Parkfield and is run by the Cornerhouse Youth Project. This new initiative involves the development of an unused field into a safe growing space for local children, young people and families. CTV and Cornerhouse use this space to support pupils from Bowesfield Primary School during school time hours and work with local young people through evening drop in sessions.
Youth Direction asked CTV to develop their two allotments that had become overgrown. This growing space is used for vulnerable young people through one-to-one work, for volunteer days and for adults looking to improve their mental health through gardening.
Harty Road Cafe Garden, Hartington Road
Hartington Road is located in the most deprived area of Stockton. The Little Sprouts Charity have been working with residents through cooking programmes, bread making and a Pay As You Feel cafe. CTV started an urban garden on Hartington Road to provide training and education opportunities to residents while growing food for the cafe.
Elmwood Community Centre
Based in Hartburn, the Elmwood site has raised beds and a poly tunnel. Teesside University, NCS and Bright Minds Big Futures have partnered on this site.
St Michael's and All Angel's, Norton
2020 will see us develop part of the Church grounds into a growing space that can be accessed by the local community and users of the food bank based at the Church.