Tried and tested

Engaging the local community

Call for local volunteers!

We are very keen for local volunteers to get involved in this project and help YMCA centres establish fabulous orchards on their local sites!

If you would like to be part of the project, please speak to a support or youth worker at your local YMCA (you can find your local YMCA here) or contact YMCA England at

If they are not part of the project this year they can get involved in the next round so why not encaurage them to apply! 

There are many opportunities for community members to get involved, including roles:

  • for the green-fingered pensioner who can help prune and care for new trees;
  • for the design student who can create professional looking Apple Day posters;
  • for the local YMCA resident who is a social media pro who can help spread the word and get other youngsters to support their mates
  • for local school children who can dress trees for Wassailing or use well known favourite recipes to make apple pies, cakes and jams;
  • for the local greengrocer who can sell school-grown fruit;
  • for the local builder who can help to create seating, sculptures or mosaics to make new orchards even more attractive places in which to stop and sit.

We have seen plenty of examples where teams of volunteers have been helping to harvest city fruit for years, redistributing the surplus to community cafes, nurseries, Surestart schemes and individuals on a non-profit basis.

So organise, invite, celebrate, share and witness how the orchards can transform your own community!

Click here to discover the benefits of community orchards

And here are some ideas on how to get your local community involved:  

Organise a Fruit Appeal with your local YMCA centre:

Join your local YMCA and help them identify and collect local fruit that otherwise would have gone to waste! Encourage local people to bring the fruit to your YMCA centre, help them identify the variety, encourage them to try it and share ideas with them on how the fruit could be used!

Organise a Fruit Day:

Once fruit is collected by the YMCA centres they could use the fruit to create and share fruit based produce with their local community.  A simple cake sale raising money for the local centre would be a great option!

Be creative when looking for opportunities to educate and inspire the wider community about local fruit and share your ideas and success stories with us so that we can, in turn, help other YMCA centres inspire thousands more neighbours and friends nationally to try new local fruit varieties.


How to host a community event at YMCA/Foyer sites on and offsite locations

Hosting events at YMCA and Foyer centres can pose a variety of challenges as can organising events off site and in the community.  In this helpful resource, The Orchard Project shares its wide experience and offers top tips for budgeting, health & safety, promotion etc to help your event go smoothly.

The resource features an example risk assessment for an orchard apple day - very popular in the autumn months.

Download (PDF)

How to get the local community involved in your event

By making your orchard accessible and welcoming to others by coordinating seasonal events, you will help to ensure its long term sustainability; the more people invested in the space, the more chance the orchard will be cared for and valued for the long term.

This resource is packed with useful & fun suggestions from FFC partner The Orchard Project who have huge experience in community participation.  From wassailing to summer picnics, there are plenty of ideas to get your event going!

Download (PDF)

Case study Year 2: Supporting young people in their YMCA community

A case study that highlights the support given to a bereaved young couple during the development of an orchard at YMCA North Staffordshire.  Hard work and community spirit helped to alleviate the sense of loss felt by all connected to YMCANS.

Download (PDF)

More downloads

London Orchard Project - Fruit in Motion

Watch the London Orchard Project's new video, documenting their work to promote orchards and fruit trees across the city. Working with Londoners to plant and harvest apple, pear and plum trees, the video provides inspiration for helping us all to rediscover the pleasure of eating home-grown fruit.

More links


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