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Local Women’s Spring Crafts and Food Market

At Windmill Hills Centre on Saturday (April 8) we’ll be hosting the Local Women Local Enterprise Projects’ Spring Crafts and Food Market. The Market kicks off at 12 noon and runs until four and there’ll be stalls held by enterprising local women selling unique handmade crafts and food products. There’ll also be face painting, live…

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The Comfrey Project at BALTIC!

We’re delighted to announce that we have a show at BALTIC! Making Connections is an exhibition of work by participants of the Comfrey Project who’ve been working alongside BALTIC artist Helen Pailing over a period of six weeks, creating colourful, inspirational and very personal work in string, wire and glass. The group had an amazing…

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The information contained within this alert is based on reports made during the past month, to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre. The National Fraud Investigation Bureau (NFIB) has gathered information about two frauds, where social media or email platforms are being used to encourage members of the public to donate money to…

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Help us nurture friendship at the Comfrey Project

Listen to volunteer Yvonne Grant Mills talk about the importance of friendship in rebuilding the lives of refugees and people seeking asylum. You can help our important work by donating at Local Giving. And this week, if you give a tenner, they’ll double it and add Gift Aid. Just click here.

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Wild Flower Project Gives Refugees Hope and a Friendly Environment

Our friends from Grow Wild, who this year funded both our foraging hedgerow and wild flower meadow areas, visited us last month and have written this wonderful article about our work. by NISHA KOTECHA on OCTOBER 7, 2016 The Comfrey Project in Gateshead provides refugees and asylum seekers with a safe, welcoming environment, promoting personal…

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Family Picnic and Play Days in August

We’ll be hosting two Family Picnic and Play Days on August 9 and August 23 at Windmill Hills Centre. There’ll be loads of family activities including games, nature hunts, treasure trails and a longest daisy-chain competition. The Family Picnics take place from 12 noon until 3pm and are FREE to attend. However you will have…

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Refugees and asylum seekers need blankets and sheets

Can you help our participants with good clean sheets and non-fitted blankets? These are useful in all sorts of ways (not just for keeping warm) and good quality blankets are very expensive to buy. If you can help, email Craig here and let him know.

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Newcastle Woodcraft Folk welcome refugees

Thank you to our lovely young friends from Heaton Woodcraft Folk who sent a whole bunch of beautiful drawings and songs to Comfrey Project participants this week. They were so upset by Brexit and recent attacks on refugees and migrants that they felt they should do something positive.

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The Comfrey Project has received £20,000 thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery. The funding boost from Postcode Lottery Trust will enable the Comfrey Project to develop a Community Garden. Comfrey Project Manager Yvonne Hartnett said, “the People’s Postcode Lottery award will enable us to expand the work we’re doing at Windmill Hills Centre, creating…

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Yvette Hawkins returns as artist-in-residence

We’re delighted to announce that artist Yvette Hawkins (photo right) will be returning as artist-in-residence. Yvette previously worked with the Comfrey Project as volunteer coordinator in 2013, and from April 2016, the British-South Korean visual artist will be creating INHABIT: a new bio-structural installation woven by a colony of silk worms reared at the Windmill…

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Comfrey Project finds a new home in Gateshead

In November the Comfrey Project moved into the Windmill Hills Centre in Gateshead, having had an allotment in the borough for several years. The Project will not only be providing gardening, cooking and creative opportunities at our new home, but we’ll continue to operate our allotment at Moorside and community garden at Walkergate. The Windmill…

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Hawi, Yvonne and Sanja on BBC Radio Four’s Food Programme

We were recently lucky enough to be interviewed for BBC Radio Four’s Food Programme; a Newcastle/Gateshead special that highlighted the wonderful food culture of our region. Thanks to one of our friends, you can now listen to us on the radio by clicking here

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Men’s clothing needed

Although we receive many donations of women’s clothing during the year, we struggle to find enough quality men’s clothing. Can you help out? Our refugee and asylum seeker participants are looking for good shirts, jackets, suits, ties, slacks and pullovers, plus leather boots and shoes. We have plenty of t-shirts and sweatshirts, trainers and sportswear,…

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Open Day : January 26 2016

Please come and visit us at our new home at: Windmill Hills Centre Chester Place GATESHEAD NE8 1QB On Tuesday 26 January from 2.00-3.30pm, where you can drop in, have a look at our new centre and find out a little more about what we do and also what our plans are for the future….

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Welcome to Windmill Hills

At the beginning of November we moved to a lovely building in Gateshead, the Windmill Hills Centre. Although we loved sharing with the Ouseburn Trust at Arch 6 in the Ouseburn Valley, we’ve been looking for a space of our own for some time. Then, in the summer, we were offered a former school building…

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We need art supplies for our winter programme

We’re in urgent need of art supplies for our winter creative programme. Can you help with: Card making supplies Soap making equipment Massage and essential oils Origami making paper Jewellery making stuff Knitting and crochet supplies If you can help, please email craig@thecomfreyproject.org.uk

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Interested in volunteering?

Are you interested in working with refugees and asylum seekers as a volunteer? We’re holding a Volunteer Open Day on Thursday 5 November at Windmill Hills Centre, Chester Place, Gateshead NE8 1QB and we’d love to meet you. Tea and coffee will be provided and we’ll be there from 10.30-12pm – you can reach Windmill…

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Donate via Local Giving and double your tenner!

Donate to the Comfrey Project via Local Giving this week and they’ll double your first £10. With Gift Aid, that would be £22.50. Refugees and asylum seekers need your help so please give generously. All income from via Local Giving is unrestricted, which means it goes directly to support our participants by providing gardening, cooking or…

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100 North East-based artists donate work for refugees

Around one hundred North East-based visual artists have donated work to be auctioned for refugee charities in Newcastle on Saturday at ART TAKEAWAY FOR REFUGEES. The auction will take place at ERNEST in the Ouseburn Valley, and features paintings, prints and photography, as well as ceramics, glassware and wooden items including artisan designed furniture Organiser Craig…

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Comfrey Project featured on BBC Look North

The Comfrey Project were recently featured in a news story on Look North, the BBC’s regional news magazine programme. It was a balanced piece and we came across very well, despite being nervous about how we’d be portrayed. Thanks Auntie Beeb! You can see the report on youtube

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It’s the BIG DIG!

THURSDAY 19 MARCH: You are invited to ‘The Big Dig ‘event at our Walkergate Allotment, Fossway near Whinneyfield Road Bus number 22 will take you all the way to the Turbinia pub on Fossway. Once you step off the bus look for the Station Court building. We are just at the back. When you arrive…

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Ladybird books still thrilling older readers

A wonderful donation of Ladybird books from supporter Helen Day has gone down a storm at our Walkergate allotment. After an appeal for reading material, Helen sent us a box packed with such delights as Life of the Honey Bee, Wild Life in Britain, Birds and how they live and British Wild Flowers. Although some…

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Photos from our Moorside Allotment

These lovely photographs from our Moorside allotment were discovered when we went through the files on an old camera. We’re so glad they turned up again. You can find more on our Instagram page.

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Success at the Newcastle Allotment Show

There was lots to see at the allotment show on Sunday 14th September. There were huge onions and leeks and very long carrots, enormous cabbages and perfect flowers. How do they do it? Lots of time and dedication I think. We had a stand there to let everyone know about the wonderful things we do. We had…

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What IS Comfrey?

While the Project is named after Comfrey, many of us don’t know much about this humble and amazing plant. Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is a bit of a wonder plant.  It’s known as a dynamic accumulator, drawing minerals out of the soil and into the roots and leaves, and is also a compost accelerator, a fine…

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Another award for our fantastic Moorside gardeners

We’re delighted to announce that our Moorside allotment has been nominated as Best Community Allotment at the 2014 Moorside Allotment Awards! Well done to all of our participants. They’ve been putting in some back-breaking work at Moorside this year, and if you haven’t visited for some time, you’ll notice a huge difference.

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Our day out at the beach

A fun day was had by all at our beach trip on the 5th August. The weather was VERY kind to us and it was a gloriously sunny and hot day. There was a good turn out and those that came enjoyed good food. (Thank you to those people who brought food to share with…

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Too Spicy to play fundraiser on July 18

We’re delighted that TOO SPICY are going to be playing our fundraiser on Friday 18 at Bar Loco in Newcastle. Do yourself a favour and check out their page on Bandcamp where you’ll also be able to listen to their intoxicating brew of upbeat reggae and ska.

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Why we love the aubergine!

One of our favourite vegetables at The Comfrey Project is the aubergine (aka melongene, garden egg, mad apple, guinea squash or egg plant). This humble vegetable is however, in botanical terms, a berry and belongs to a family of plants called solanum melongena. Other genus from this family are potatoes, tomatoes and bell peppers, as…

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Get Up Stand Up: a benefit night for the Comfrey Project

On July 18 the combined talents of 100% Overproof, the Funky Butt Club and Too Spicy are joining forces to bring you a night of reggae, ska and funk, and to raise money for the Comfrey Project. With help from Ojay and basic.fm, the event will take place at Bar Loco in Leazes Park Road,…

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Perform a Simple Act for Refugee Week

Next week is Refugee Week and we’ll be encouraging all our friends and supporters to carry out a Simple Act as a way of connecting with refugees and asylum seekers in the North East. The Simple Acts campaign is an initiative of Refugee Week which aims to encourage small acts to make life better for…

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Refugee Week: more food glorious food!

People so enjoyed the recipes from Cooking from the Heart, our recently launched cookbook, and especially sampling the recipes at our launch party,  that we’ve decided to repeat the experience for Refugee Week! In partnership with British Red Cross, we’ll be inviting you to The Beacon on June 18 to share more amazing dishes from…

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How we all kept warm at Moorside

We had a lovely open day at our Moorside Allotment on April 5th, despite the rather inclement weather. A rather out-of-control willow arbour was cut back, and we pulled down some dilapidated fencing and a rotten compost container. A lovely warm bonfire was the result, around which we enjoyed Shuhana’s dahl and Sanja’s Bosnian soup….

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Moorside Allotment Open Day

Come and join us at our Moorside Allotment on April 5th, where we’ll be doing a bit of gardening, sharing a cuppa and having a good old chat. You’ll get to meet our gardeners and to see the amazing work we’ve undertaken to make the Comfrey Project a welcoming haven for refugees and asylum seekers…

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Our visit to Northumberland Cheese Company at Blagdon

A big thank you to Martin at the Northumberland Cheese Company in Blagdon who gave us a fabulous tour and cheese-tasting session last week. We were shown the process of cheese making from the delivery of the milk to the despatch of the finished product, and best of all, we tasted the product. Our gardeners…

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Breadmaking at Dilston

Our Cooking Club chefs spent a fascinating day at Mencap Dilston College with Dave and Simon from ABC Coop Bakery recently. Dave and Simon often work at the bakery at Dilston College with a group of men who come together to bake lovely bread and sell it around the region at markets. On this occasion…

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A friend moves to Australia – good luck Peter

Our great friend and supporter Peter Kay has said his goodbyes and is off to Alice Springs! Ouseburn advocate and Chief Officer of the Ouseburn Trust, Peter has worked tirelessly to promote the interests of this small area of Newcastle for nine years. In the past year, Peter not only offered The Comfrey Project a…

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How to order our cookbook

In the past two years, thanks to support from Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food Grants, 45 asylum seekers and refugees participated in weekly allotment sessions and cooking classes which led to Cooking from the Heart, this wonderful book. Foods cooked by people from different cultural backgrounds were first identified, and then grown at our allotments….

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We need knitting and art supplies – can you help?

Do you have any old wool, knitting or crochet needles, knitting patterns or other art supplies we can use? We need knitting supplies for our crafting classes and anything you can spare will be much appreciated. We’re also going to be making jewellery this spring, so if you have old broken necklaces, beads, or any…

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Safia and Shuhana talk about the cookbook on BBC Radio Newcastle

We were interviewed by Jonathan Miles for his show on BBC Radio Newcastle last Friday. Safia and Shuhana talked about the Comfrey Project, the food cultures of their home countries, and what they like about English cooking. “We want to learn how to cook Yorkshire Puddings!” said Shuhana. You can listen to the interview here:

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Cooking from the Heart : our cookbook is published

In the past two years, thanks to support from Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food Grants, 45 asylum seekers and refugees participated in weekly allotment sessions and cooking classes, with 15 participants planning and delivering the cooking sessions which led to Cooking from the Heart, this wonderful book. Foods cooked by people from different cultural backgrounds…

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Individuals and groups from asylum seeker/refugee backgrounds are invited to participate in a performance titled Double Dutch, The Rope Handler. Participants are required to skip the ropes on a Double Dutch game for as long as they can. Travel expenses, food and refreshments will be provided. The performance requires no training or rehearsals. DATE: Saturday…

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Flash from trash – making the most of donated clothing

This week fashion stylist Krista Puranen Wilson (right) visited us to run a workshop on making the most of the winter clothing kindly donated by our supporters. Our participants now feel warm and look good, as Krista demonstrated how to choose the right outfit for your body shape, how to combine scarves, hats and coats, and…

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Donate now and Grow Your Tenner!

Localgiving.com is giving away £500,000 as Grow Your Tenner returns for another match fund bonanza, and we need your help. Sponsored by the Office for Civil Society, Grow Your Tenner 2013 began on Tuesday, October 15 and will run until all £500,000 has been allocated. Grow Your Tenner will double all donations (up to £10)…

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Working on the cookbook

Food stylist Krista Puranen Wilson joined the group this week to photograph dishes for our upcoming cookbook. The cookery project is funded by Local Food, and last weeks recipes came from Sri Lanka, Angola, Iran, Afghanistan and the UK, and included salt cod, grilled aubergine and spinach and beetroot smoothies. Krista’s photo (on the right)…

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Watch The Comfrey Project film

Earlier this year, film-maker Mat Fleming was a regular visitor to our Moorside allotment, documenting the day-to-day activities on the site. The result is his wonderful short film, shot over several months; a lovely snapshot of life on our allotments. You can see the end result here. Let us know what you think – we…

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The Year of the Dudi Gourd

by Sanja Ratkusic It was very fruitful year at our allotments. We managed successfully to grow lots of varieties of fruit and vegetables. From more common examples such as carrots, potatoes, leeks and chard, to the more unusual; dudi, Vietnamese mustard, niyemba, couve, amaranth, biteku-teku, sugar cane and many more … One plant we’re particularly…

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Open Day at Walkergate

The Open Day at our Walkergate Allotment was a huge success this year, with around 50 people dropping in to look at the improvements to our community garden, taste our produce, and chat about the future of the Project. It was particularly delightful for us to receive visitors from other allotments on at Walkergate, and…

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Newcastle’s Hidden Communities

Peter Campbell wrote this wonderful article for Newcastle Free Press, which discusses the plight of the poorest in our city, and the work of the Comfrey Project; Wednesday 15 May 2013 ‘The city that never sleeps’: an idiom that Newcastle won’t be stealing from New York anytime soon. At 6am we are walking through city…

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