Growing Solidarity

Growing Solidarity is our community outreach project. In partnership with Reading Refugee Support Group and Reading City of Sanctuary, we work with people through weekly sessions on our farm and in local neighbourhoods. Together we exchange skills, share knowledge, combat social isolation, and build resilience, with nature providing the foundations, tools and backdrop.

Reading Refugee Support Group Logo

Hempen co-operative cultivates hemp solutions for the health of people, community and the planet. Since our hemp licence was revoked, Growing Solidarity has spread its roots in our fields. When gaps in the land appear, weeds can often grow and flourish. 

Inspired by the collaborative work of mutual aid groups, Growing Solidarity became our way of reaching out to the local community. We empowered individuals in a collaborative, interactive way to grow, cook, eat, and share, whilst addressing barriers to accessing healthy and nutritious foods (including hemp!). For a fairer and more participatory food system.

Lorraine Briffitt, Chair of Reading City of Sanctuary, said ‘It’s amazing to see the energy they’ve poured into becoming recognised as a Garden of Sanctuary. They are really do such much to welcome people of sanctuary backgrounds.

Now more than ever,

we need to build


£2.00 £5.00 £10.00
Welcome sign for volunteers at Hempen
Growing Solidarity Volunteering Hemp Farm UK
Volunteer at Hempen, outside with the tomatoes

Join on Tuesdays

We host Growing Solidarity Community Days every Tuesday. If you like to dip your hands in the soil, take strolls in the woods, and chat with people from all walks of life, volunteering with us on Tuesday may be the thing for you! Email to organise your visit.

Many of the people we work with face barriers to accessing our site. You can help improve accessibility by joining our community driver carpool! More information here.

We host other volunteering opportunities, find out more here.

Growing Solidarity Herbs
Hempen volunteer day potting plants

Food for Resilience

We are funded by the Landworkers’ Alliance and the Lottery Community Fund to develop a replicable and scalable model that empowers people who are on a low-income, food insecure and reliant on food-banks to grow, cook with, eat and share nutritious food at home or at the farm. This is part of a nationwide initiative, the Community Resilience Project.

Community for Resilience 

We work in collaboration with The Natural Resilience Project to deliver an innovative approach to working therapeutically with women with irregular migrant status, developing personal resilience by connecting to nature and community. We work with nature and each other to expand our awareness – paying close attention to what is happening around us, inside us and between us.   

Coop Membership support a cause

Help raise funds when you shop at Co-op!

Be a Co-op Member (who lives within a 15 miles radius of Hempen)

Login to your account and choose ‘Hempen Co-operative’ as your chosen local community cause! 
Click here:

Swipe your membership card when you shop…And help us raise funds for Growing Solidarity!

Our friend Helen Brewer made a beautiful short film over the summer which explores this project as a “Landscape of Care”.

Through building community,

we build resilience…


As hemp enthusiasts, you can probably tell that we’re keen on building connections to the natural world. With all the amazing things we can grow and forage, nature gives us many gifts and empowers us to provide for ourselves and our communities. 

We stand within a wide network of organisations and collectives working to build alternatives to current systems. This network has grown organically and we hope it will continue to do so, building trust through experiencing and integrating other people’s perspectives and spreading the values of solidarity, resistance and resilience.

We are resisting the systems that don’t place the wellbeing of all its participants at the heart. Collectively, our small actions can lead to big changes. It is through these actions that we can build a better future for the generations who will come after us.

Now more than ever,

we need to build


£2.00 £5.00 £10.00