Telopea Public School’s community garden will benefit from a three-year funding partnership announced today (September 18) between Seed Harvest Spoon Education Foundation and principal corporate sponsor, PAYCE.
Seed Harvest Spoon will deliver an expanded program free of charge to Telopea Public School for three years commencing from January 2016. PAYCE will also provide additional funds to assist the school to complete this year’s program of learning.
The partnership is worth $52,000 to Telopea Public School, made up of $48,000 for three years’ support plus $4,000 to complete activities at the school in the final term this year. In addition, PAYCE has pledged a further $48,000 to Seed Harvest Spoon Education Foundation over the same period to cover the organisation’s development and operations.
Seed Harvest Spoon, a not-for-profit organisation based in Sydney’s inner west, specialises in early childhood and primary school environmental education. Leading Australian property investment company, PAYCE, has been a strong supporter of the environmental education and food gardening program for several years.
Seed Harvest Spoon workshops are delivered to schools by highly skilled professionals adopting a whole-of-community approach. Teachers, parents and carers are encouraged to participate in the lessons alongside the students to increase knowledge development, community involvement and interest to join events such as, working bees and harvest days.
The funding partnership was announced today (September 18) by Parramatta MP Geoff Lee and PAYCE General Manager, Dominic Sullivan during a visit to the school. Also attending were Michelle Carrick and Natalie Er from Seed Harvest Spoon, school Principal, Alan McGowen and school captains, Kathleen Birrell and Antwone Robertson.
Mr Lee congratulated PAYCE for its generous gesture in providing the funding for the next three years to allow the school to further develop the range of activities associated with the school community garden.
“The garden has been an outstanding success for both the school community and the broader community, who are very supportive and have become involved through working bees and the volunteer program,” he said.
“One of the most important outcomes from the Seed Harvest Spoon program is that the students learn about growing food and sustainability and are encouraged to eat more fruit and vegetables, which in turn leads to healthy eating and lifestyles.”
Mr Sullivan said PAYCE was thrilled to join with Seed Harvest Spoon in delivering its environmental education program to Telopea Public School.
“We fully support the program’s aims to facilitate the development of healthy local communities through personal health and wellbeing, strong and connected communities and a healthier environment,” he said.
“In addition to learning about growing food and ecology principles, the program promotes active community engagement through community working bees, school incursions, local volunteering and community events in the garden.
“The sponsorship is an extension of our successful long-term relationship with Riverwood Public School and the local community, where the school community garden is now flourishing in its fifth year.
“We have seen first-hand at Riverwood the benefits that flow from the hands-on, practical nature of the program, with pupils learning the importance of teamwork and developing self-confidence and improved self-esteem through their own efforts and achievements in the garden.
PAYCE Managing Director, Brian Boyd said the program was a wonderful way to introduce young children to the natural world and was a catalyst for them leading a healthy life through good nutrition and healthy eating choices.
“Telopea Public School has developed a wonderful productive garden through the efforts and enthusiasm of the students and the help of school community and PAYCE is pleased to come on board to keep that momentum going,” he said.
“The funding will allow the school and its teachers to continue to build on the good work to date under the tutorship and mentoring of the very experienced and enthusiastic team from Seed Harvest Spoon.”
Michelle Carrick, Seed Harvest Spoon’s Program Director said the long- term funding from PAYCE was most welcomed and will allow the organisation to grow its current one-year program to a program covering three years.
“We are excited to be able to continue the learning program we have started here with the students and teachers at Telopea Public School. Our vision is to extend the program’s reach to implement and strengthen community volunteer programs and training,” she said.
“The final stage will involve empowering communities to lead the sustainability practices in their established gardens and will also include neighbouring schools participation through incursions and additional programs.”
PAYCE is a public listed Australian company with a proven track record in creating exceptional new communities.
Founded in 1978, PAYCE is a recognised leader in innovative urban renewal, and has won a reputation for transforming places through its integrated residential, retail and commercial developments.
PAYCE has won numerous industry awards for its projects, including Development of the Year at the Urban Taskforce’s 2015 Awards and Best Retail and Commercial development in NSW and ACT at the 2015 Urban Development Institute of Australia’s Awards of Excellence. PAYCE is currently delivering an exciting new urban development, Royal Shores, beside the Parramatta River at Ermington in partnership with Sekisui House Australia.
PAYCE is firmly committed to social equity. For many years, PAYCE has helped to provide support to those in society disadvantaged by circumstances.
PAYCE’s policy is to work alongside respected not-for-profit organisations and groups in supporting the good works being delivered, and to help provide resources needed by these bodies in progressing towards hopeful futures and social harmony for those in need.
In addition to supporting the Seed Harvest Spoon Schools Program at a number of locations, other organisations and bodies that PAYCE is currently working with include the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, Matthew Talbot Hostel, Adele, St Merkarious Charity and Windgap. PAYCE also recently formed a Foundation Partnership with the Sydney Street Choir to support the choir financially and corporately over the next three years.