Seeds, students and wildflowers on your doorstep

three people watching a fourth digging into a wheelbarrow with bright yellow flowers to the right of the picture

A couple of years into my time at university, when I was living in a big city away from home but surrounded by new friends, I moved out of halls and into a shared house a few miles away from campus. It was new, exciting – but also a bit disorientating: I realized that I didn’t know this new area very well; who else lived near me and what was happening in my neighbourhood. Even my course mates who’d lived in the city their whole lives had a different perspective on the streets they thought were familiar – we all wanted to feel a bit more connected.

Luckily, there were some local community groups around who wanted the same thing: they wanted to get to know their new neighbours a bit better, and to welcome us to the area. We arrived in September to find plant pots on every doorstep in the street and planters at the ends of the road, full of colourful flowers with little notes saying “welcome”. It was the first of many things that led me to feel like I’d found my place in the city that I still call home today.

Connect with your community

I was thinking about those flowers this week as I contacted campuses across the country to spread the word about our wildflower seed kits; how lovely it would be if more students and other community members grew together and felt that same sense of connection and wellbeing that I did. And with Student Volunteering Week almost upon us, where across the country universities, colleges and students’ unions are gearing up to showcase the amazing things students can do to help and connect with their local communities, I wanted to write this blog and invite students across the country to join us as a Seed Kit Leader.

Whether you’re living in halls of residence or at home, a first year exploring a new campus or in your final year juggling placements and coursework, studying part time at college or in the depths of a Phd, the Grow Wild team invites you to apply for a seed kit and spread the joy of wildflowers where you live – with friends, neighbours and the great community projects that exist on your doorstep.

Be on the look out

Volunteering is a great way to connect with your town or city, and our seed kits are all about bringing people together. it’s a great way to meet the people who live around you, make new friends and do something fun with your housemates or course mates. If you’re worried about time, the application doesn’t take long, and spending a few hours sowing seeds and looking after your space in spring and early summer is a great way to take a break from hectic schedule.

So next time you’re out and about, have a look around and see if you can find the perfect patch for some wildflowers. Chances are other people would love to see a splash of colour too – like me, you might find that there are already campus or community groups you can bring together to organise a sowing day. If you’re having difficulty finding a space, or don’t know who owns it to ask for permission, your university or Students’ Union might be able to help out too.

Applications for seed kits are now closed. If you have been inspired to sow and grow wildflowers this Spring, find out where to get seeds here.

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