CRC has landed on a unique and positive way for residents to contribute to their community while gaining work skills and experience. As part of CRC’s ITO course for residents, the participants manage vegetable gardens and learn to grow delicious fresh produce which is then donated to local community organisations.
The course focuses on agriculture and horticulture, and CRC residents learn to cultivate the garden beds, prepare seeds, germinate and care for the plants right through to harvest.
CRC General Manager Annie McNicoll says, “Residents use the vegetables to make jams and pickles, and they also provide produce to our other homes to be used for cooking.”
Fostering a sense of community in the spirit of giving back, vegetables are packed into boxes and delivered to local charities such as the City Mission and Women’s Refuge
“It’s about education and upskilling for our residents plus learning the joy of giving back. People get great enjoyment out of the whole process,” says Annie.
The ITO course provides residents with opportunities to gain skills and NCEA credits to assist with work readiness in preparation for moving on from CRC homes.
“It’s also about gaining an understanding of the rewards of putting in the hard work to produce results. It’s very gratifying to see the growth in our clients and their enthusiasm for giving back to their community,” says Annie.