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Toyota team to transform community garden to support promotion of healthy eating to local families in the UK

A team of production line workers from Toyota will use the current production downturn as an opportunity to transform a community garden, which will be used to promote vegetable growing and healthy eating.

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The team of eight volunteers from the Burnaston Plant will transform the garden at the Home-Start South Derbyshire Offices premises in Belmont Street, Swadlincote, so it can be used by the charity to show families how to grow their own vegetables and to provide local produce for the vegetable box scheme initiative in conjunction with South Derbyshire CVS.

During the intensive two-day ‘Ground force’ style makeover on Wednesday 8th & Thursday 9th April, the Toyota team will clear existing concreted areas, build raised seedbeds for vegetable growing and create a ‘living-wall’.

Home-Start South Derbyshire is a dedicated charity for the South Derbyshire area and was established in September 1984 to support families in the local community with at least one child under the age of five years. The charity supports families for a number of reasons ranging from isolation, bereavement and Post Natal Illness, to divorce, parenting issues or disability.

Ken Harrington, Chairman of Home-Start South Derbyshire, said: “We can't think of a more fantastic way to kick-start our 25th anniversary celebrations than with the opening of this growing garden which will help families save money, grow healthy food and have lots of fun doing it. We greatly appreciate the support from Toyota which has given a new way of working with families, it has also enabled partnership working within the community.”

Toyota will cover the costs for all materials for the project with support from the Toyota Fund for Europe (TFFE), a special social contribution fund established by Toyota Motor Europe to support environment, road safety and technical education projects across Europe. TFfE funds also similar employee volunteer projects by other manufacturing plants in Poland, France and Turkey.

In addition to benefiting the local community, the activity will also be used to further develop teamwork and leadership skills of the Toyota volunteers. Kevin Lee, Team Leader, Auris Assembly, who will lead the Toyota team said: “This project will allow us to learn new skills and to put something back into our local community. By working as a team we hope we will be able to create a sustainable garden that will be used and enjoyed by the community for many years to come.”

This is the latest community-volunteering project supported by Toyota. In October last year a Toyota team transformed overgrown garden at the South Derbyshire CVS offices in Swadlincote, Derbyshire. The garden continues to be used by a range of community groups and pupils from Learning Support Unit at the nearby Pingle School to plant vegetables and promote healthy eating.

An Open Day will be held on Tuesday 24 April, from 11:00am – 3:00pm, at the Home-Start offices where the charity will launch a vegetable box scheme and ‘Grow Great Grub’ learning initiative in conjunction with South Derbyshire CVS.

Since start of production in the UK in 1992, Toyota has donated over £2.5 million to local communities projects around the Derbyshire and North Wales plants. Karen Bradley, Communications & External Affairs Manager, Toyota Manufacturing UK said: “We are committed to supporting our local communities and this particular project allows us to combine all of our key community focus areas of environment, children, health and education. In light of our current production situation, this project also allows us to lend our employees’ time which is more difficult in normal production conditions.”

Toyota’s plants in Derbyshire and North Wales have been designated as model plant for sustainable activities by Toyota Motor Corporation. As one of only four global plants to achieve this environmental status, TMUK will achieve leading environmental performance through the use of innovative production technology, increase the use of renewable energy and work in harmony with the local community to preserve and promote the local eco-system. TMUK will share its experience and technology with other Toyota plants across Europe.

For more information contact:
Steve Carter, Toyota Manufacturing UK on 01332 283666 or 07908 214781

Please see the relevant link here.

Home-Start South Derbyshire
Home-Start South Derbyshire receives funding from Derbyshire County Council and South Derbyshire District Council. The charity recruit and train volunteers also from the local community, who have parenting experience themselves to offer one to one support to the families. Shortly 25 volunteers will be trained to support families who are under stress. Families can refer themselves to the charity by contacting the office on 01283 558280 or they can be referred by their health visitor, GP or other local agency.

Other local businesses willing to support the charity are urged to contact the charity’s Scheme Support Manager, Tracey Harris, for details on 01283 558280. Home-Start South Derbyshire Silver Anniversary celebrations will culminate in a Gala evening which is being held on 19 September at The Royal Hotel, Ashby De La Zouche tickets are £28.50 each which includes a 3 course dinner and entertainment with all proceeds going towards supporting families throughout South Derbyshire.

Toyota Manufacturing UK company outline
Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK) produces Auris and Avensis models at its vehicle manufacturing plant at Burnaston, Derbyshire, and petrol engines at its engine manufacturing plant at Deeside, North Wales. In 2008, TMUK produced 213,404 vehicles, 190,800 fully assembled engines and 106,598 engine sets for export and local assembly at plants across the world. To date, Toyota has invested over £1.85 billion into its UK manufacturing operations and currently employs over 4,400 members.

Commitment to the environment
Since the start of production, TMUK has aimed to minimise its environmental impact across all areas of manufacturing operations. Since 1993, the first full year of production:
WATER use per vehicle produced has been reduced by over 75%
ENERGY use per vehicle produced has been reduced by over 70%
VOC EMISSIONS (Volatile Organic Compounds) produced per vehicle has been reduced by over 70%
WASTE produced per vehicle has been reduced by over 60%