Why the Strawberry Patch?
The Strawberry Patch Member Network was a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Lockdowns essentially.
Firstly, we wanted to build on the VCSE Peer Support Network that began as a response to the pandemic, continuing the connectivity that the network gave to the sector and increasing the focus on members getting to know members across Calderdale and Kirklees.
Secondly, I became a lockdown gardener to improve my mental health. I turned my little concrete yard into a fruit and vegetable growing escape mechanism and loved to see (and eat) the produce I’d grown with love and nurturing. I grew courgettes, potatoes, beans, and, of course, strawberries.
A strawberry plant is an incredibly resilient little thing. It can survive hard Winters and still come back in Spring to produce fruit year upon year. To help them grow, strawberry plants produce runners; spindly little shoots that grow from the main plant to create new baby plants that form their own roots to fill your garden with even more strawberries!
This got me thinking.
A strawberry patch is the perfect analogy of a network. It’s about creating new ideas and opportunities, continuing to grow with new members and partnerships, and nurturing the network to keep it strong and fruitful.
With the COVID-19 pandemic fusing work and home life for us all for so long, The Strawberry Patch felt like an apt name for our member network, drawing on something that merged an activity like lockdown strawberry growing with a network supporting our members and their growth.
The first bi-monthly Strawberry Patch Network was held online 3 pm – 4 pm on Thursday 3rd March 2022 but we would like future meetings to be held across Calderdale and Kirklees so we can properly put down the Strawberry Patch’s roots in a safe and supportive way!
If any of our members would like to host a future Strawberry Patch Network Meeting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org