“Grow Together Be Together” Food Growing Coordinator – 9/2012 – April 2014
Bonny Downs Community Association (BDCA), Newham, London
I led in co-ordinating the delivery of the new Food growing and Healthy eating programme;
Oversaw the design and development of the local food growing and permaculture garden -Flanders Field Community Garden
Embeded BDCA’s Community Cafe into the food growing project, using it as a resource to champion local food, distributed produce, developed training & volunteering opportunities;
Promoted healthy eating in schools;
Worked with the community Gardener to develop planting plans for the growing site;
Worked with BDCA’s cafe manager and CEO to establish and maintain a Healthy Food Zone from the Community Cafe.
Grow Together Be Together Community Garden
Thanks to funding from the Big Lottery’s Local Food Fund, BDCA were able to transform a previously derelict piece of land into a beautiful 350m2 wheel-chair accessible garden.
In 2012, BDCA’s staff drew together a team of local volunteers and worked tirelessly to create a new community food growing garden in the North-West corner of Flanders Field where local residents of all ages can work together to help grow fruits, vegetables and herbs.
The site was designed by our former Project Coordinator Aleksandra Rug ( OLa Rug) along with Paul from Growing Communities and a group of students carrying out their Permaculture Design Course.
The garden is packed full of innovative ‘green’ features and food growing facilities including: a compost toilet, raised food growing beds, pond, polytunnel, outdoor cob oven and bonfire area.
The majority of the building work was completed in time for the spring 2013 planting season and we enjoyed a wonderful community launch event on Saturday 20th April:
As well as generating food, the beautiful garden acts as an outdoor classroom and community meeting space where local people can get together, learn about the benefits of food growing and meet new friends.
The organic produce that we cultivate in the garden is supplied to The Well Cafe where they transform the ingredients into low cost, seasonal, healthy meals for local customers. We also donate surplus food to a local cookery course for formerly homeless people and to local residents living in poverty through BDCA’s foodbank.
The Grow Together Be Together team are currently running the following community activities:
– Weekly gardening sessions on Saturdays from 1 – 3pm in partnership with Skills Enterprise
– Practical volunteer work days on Wednesdays from 10am -1pm.
– Free community celebration events throughout the year.
– ‘Outdoor classroom’ lessons for Primary School children.
From June 2016, BDCA partnered with local charity NEWway project to turn another patch of disused land on Flanders Field into a kitchen garden where local homeless/vulnerably housed people can gain volunteering experience by helping to grow healthy produce for BDCA’s foodbank and community cafe. Although priority is given to those who are/have been homeless, everyone is welcome to get involved in this exciting new venture. Click here to download their information leaflet.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0208 586 7070 for more information about The Well Cafe or the Grow Together Be Together Garden.