[Translation (French-English):EPALE France]
With funding by the Erasmus+ programme since 2017, the Gardeniser Pro project aims to develop the professional face of the organisers of shared gardens.
For at least twenty years, and even more so over the past ten years, there has been an increase in the number of shared gardens. However, there is a recurrent problem: many of these gardens do not manage to keep their activities going, since the organisers do not always have the skills to encourage volunteers or even to plan the projects properly.
Following on from the EU GO and Gardeniser projects, coordinated by Pistes-Solidaires, the Replay Network (Italy) initiated the Gardeniser Pro project, lasting for 30 months from September 2017 to February 2020. In this context, training in three elements was developed in 2017 and 2018: knowing how to design a garden; knowing how to work with volunteers; and knowing how to plan the project activities and budget to allow for its sustainability. The project consortium is made up of five partners: Replay Network (Italy), PETRARCA (Germany), Pistes-Solidaires (France), ECTE (Greece) and Social Farms & Gardens (United Kingdom).
A preliminary test of this training programme was organized in May 2018 in Manchester, before it was rolled out. Since March, each partner country has organised training for 20 Gardenisers, who then carry out training programmes at local level or in Europe. While the latest training programmes are being prepared (starting on 15 July in Italy), local and international courses have already begun. Accordingly, at the end of May, ECTE's Greek partners received two French and two British trainees, while the Italians received two from Britain and two from France. In France, two Britons took part in the activities of the Conservatoire des Légumes Anciens du Béarn (the College of Traditional Vegetables, in Béarn). Finally, four French trainees are currently in Germany and the United Kingdom. The rest of the mobilities will take place in September.
Initial feedback is very positive ,and the European experience is proving to be a real asset: in June, Christine began her new job as head garden organiser (Chief Gardeniser) in Assat, near Pau, in a centre which receives people recovering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Apart from the training courses themselves, what are the next stages? These will involve the recognition of all the skills acquired within the three modules, using the ECVET points model, with a title which will have long-term recognition beyond the consortium, so as to promote the employability of people who have been trained. An online platform will also identify the strong skills of these trainees by promoting their profiles. The Gardeniser is indeed a profession of the future.
To learn more about other projects in which Pistes Solidaires has invested: