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April 2023 Good Food Lewisham Newsletter: Spring has Sprung, Get Growing

Polish Easter eggs

In this edition there are plenty of growing events as it's Good to Grow weekend, Earth Day, Plant and Share month and the launch of the next phase of Lewisham Growing Network.

It's a year since Lewisham Local started hosting Good Food Lewisham. It's been an action packed year, from looking at the Food Justice Action Plan and the food growing network in the summer, to supporting foraging activities in the autumn, mapping free food provision over winter and Christmas, organising info sessions, events, collaborations and funding. We're looking forward to Year 2.

We have a new email address now: Feel free to use this one, as well as our personal ones.

New staff member at Lewisham Local

Justin has recently started as the Community Engagement and Grants Coordinator and will be working with groups to understand what the needs are for residents and groups, which will be reflected in Lewisham Local’s fundraising and grant giving, where Lewisham residents will be making decisions on how and what is funded based on lived experience. Justin can be contacted at

Invite to help organise the next GFL network meeting

Are you connected with a school or project with young people that grows food or wants to grow food? Our next quarterly network meeting will take place in June looking at food growing and other food issues with schools/young people. Get in touch if you have ideas for this and regarding what could be useful in terms of linking up schools, youth projects etc.


Free Food List Updates & Meals Coming Up

Our free and cheap food list is updated, with a printable version. Let us know if you want to be alerted when new ones come out. Contact /

One project coming up, every Friday:

Launch of the Food Justice Action Plan

The Food Justice Action Plan launch will take place on Wednesday 26th April 11am - 1pm at Lewisham Irish Community Centre. This event sees the official launch of the new Food Justice Action Plan, a call to action for stakeholders to support the implementation of the plan and updates about food justice funding.

Speakers at this event will include the Mayoresses of Lewisham and other food giving groups, Isabel Rice - London Food Poverty Campaign Coordinator from Sustain and, Dr Catherine Mbema - Director of Public Health for Lewisham and Councillor Juliet Campbell. A light buffet lunch will be provided.

Copies of Black African and Caribbean Recipe Book

We now have more hard copies of the Nutrition and Recipe Book for Black African and Caribbean Families.Let us know if you want one – you can collect from the Lewisham Local offices: PLACE/Ladywell, 261 Lewisham High Street, SE13 6AY.

An Appreciative Inquiry into What food Support at its best looks like

At the last monthly Food Giving Groups Network meeting, we discussed a participative research project that was undertaken in 2021 between 6 food projects in Lewisham to learn what made a difference to the people accessing food aid organisations in Lewisham. A self-assessment quality checklist was created based on findings of the report for projects. You would like a copy email You can find the report on Lewisham Local’s website here. Appreciative Inquiry - What food support at its best looks like in Lewisham - Lewisham Local

Bank of Things Youth Fridge Launch & Appeal

Bank of Things Youth Fridge

Youth Fridge at Bank of Things Unit 19 Lewisham Shopping centre launched on Saturday 25th March. The fridge will be open from 3 to 5:30pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s and available to young people aged 11 to 25. We are looking of donation of fresh food and for friendly volunteers to help run the project. Please drop me an email if you’d like to know more

Bank of Things urgently need your support. Exam season is fast approaching, and we are getting requests for scientific calculators, maths sets, revision guides and other examination essentials. If you would like to make a financial donation, please visit:

Any other donations can be deposited in the collection bins provided in unit 19, Lewisham Shopping centre, Monday to Friday 10 to 5pm.

Food Waste and Composting in Lewisham and the Eat Like a Londoner Campaign

From Lewisham Council - Residents are reminded that they should dispose of any food scraps or any out of date food in their food caddy rather than the general waste bin. How to store food to make it last longer, food buying tips and left over food recipes. Eat like a Londoner: Save money. Eat better. Help the Planet.

Lewisham Council is offering an ‘Introduction to Composting’ workshops in May for schools, TRAs, Resident Associations etc. For more information, please contact

Have you joined the Say Yes campaign?

The Children’s Food Campaign has launched Say Yes to School Food for All, calling for a progressive roll out of universal free school meals from nursery to sixth form across the UK by 2030, alongside an end to means-testing of school food.

Can you get involved?

The team have put together this comms toolkit to help you share it which includes the film, social media copy and images. Contact:


Lewisham Local and Grow Lewisham invite you to join Lewisham Growing Network!

Lewisham Food Growing Network: What do you want to see? Launch of next phase of Lewisham Food Growing Network. We’re organising two events for people to get involved in the growing network, one online and one in person. Meet other growers, growing projects and people interested in growing and share your ideas of what would be useful for the network to work on to support your project or support you to get growing:

Online meeting - Tuesday 9 May, 7-8pm

In-person meeting - Sunday 14 May, 2.30-3.30pm

Aims for the Network:

•To enable more people to be involved in growing, foraging, cooking.

•Increase food growing in Lewisham.

•Increase access to private, communal and public land for growing.

•For Lewisham growing initiatives to become more climate-friendly.

•To ensure Lewisham based-groups, individuals and organisation shape a future food growing strategy for Lewisham and inform and influence a new food strategy for the borough.

Why Join the Network?

• Get involved with local growing & foraging

• Access and share resources, ideas and training opportunities

• Share your skills and learn new ones

• Connect with Lewisham growers and growing projects

• Raise awareness & map local growing sites

• Celebrate diversity of foods & cultural traditions in our borough

• Find out more about making your growing projects more climate friendly

• Join conversations on food justice & climate issues affecting our local area

• Be part of building a borough-wide movement

St Mary's Garden near Lewisham Hospital

It's growing season!

Good to Grow events 21st - 24th April: a long weekend of activities, events and open days at community gardens across the whole of the UK. Want to find out if there’s an event near you? See their map:

Plant and Share Month is 22nd April – 20th May. Food for Life Get Togethers have 15 refreshed and new resources and tips, as well as short inspiring videos, to get your Plant and Share activities off the ground:

Join Capital Growth’s Community Gardens Map

Reminder to join the Capital Growth community gardens map:

Forster Memorial Park Sensory Garden is now on the map and said it was very easy to join:

The Friends of Forster Memorial Park sensory garden was created in time to celebrate the centenary year in 2022. The team holds gardening club sessions for volunteers on Friday mornings throughout the year, which enable us to grow edible, colourful, safe and sweet smelling plants. It has a formal layout with 8 beds around a central cross shape design, with the addition of a new raised bed planned for 2023. We’ve planted a willow archway by the path entrance and two benches provide seats.

Run by: Sensory Garden at Forster Memorial Park

On-going volunteers needed now at Forster Memorial Park Sensory Garden

Volunteering description: Seeds Harvesting and saving Light weeding Sowing seeds, Planting bulbs and flowers Light digging and laying wood chip mulch Cutting grass edges and mowing using rechargeable mower Adding Signage Creating willow sculptures and archways Visit garden centres for extra plants and sundries Harvesting produce

Volunteering days: Friday

Gardeners in the sensory garden in Forster Memorial Park

RHS Garden Lewisham Hospital Launch

A lovely event was held on Thursday 23rd March. They currently have volunteering every Tuesday 10.30 - 2.30, contact Alice if you’re interested in getting involved on

Cake for RHS garden launch


Good to Grow Weekend 21st – 24th April

Local events include a Spring planting at the Forest Hill Society garden:

Coco Collective events:

As well as events around London, such as the Growing for change Spring Meet up:

See the events map here:

Earth Day 22nd April

This year Earth Day is on Saturday 22nd April. Horniman Museum and Gardens are holding a fun eco games event:

There’s an event map and useful toolkits available:

Plant and Share Month Events 22nd April – 20th May

Week One: 22nd – 28th April – Growing for All

Plant and Share is about making growing your own food easy and accessible for everyone, from first time growers to community organisers.

Week Two: 30th April - 5th May – Growing to Eat

​With rising food costs, growing food can be a simple and fun way to enjoy good food. Whether you're growing tomatoes on your windowsill, or strawberries in an old container, we've got a host of great resources to help.

Week Three: 6th May – 12th May - Growing for Joy

Getting out in the garden can do wonders for your wellbeing. This week is all about growing beautiful plants to bring colour and wildlife to your backyard or veggie patch. Why not grow some beautiful flowers to celebrate the Coronation, or lend a hand in your neighbourhood with The Big Help Out?

Week Four: 13th – 20th May – Growing for Nature

Bees, bugs and other wildlife are nature's superheroes, helping produce the food we eat. Growing some nature-friendly plants is a great way to do your bit for the planet.

Food Justice Action Plan Launch 26th April 11am -1pm

Regular Growing Events

Sundays at The Plot

Grow Lewisham have weekly gardening sessions at The Plot every Sunday, with the next one part of Good to Grow. They have monthly workshops too on the first Sunday of the month. Next one is Sunday 7th May

Join us for our Open Days from 12-4pm every first Sunday of the month down ‘The Plot’

Entrance at 1 Southview Road, BR1 5RD.

There will be:

~Drop-in Garden Sessions

~Free workshops

~Family friendly activity

~Take-home seeds


~Share your skills & learn new ones!

Dates for Upcoming Open Days: Sunday 7 May, Sunday 4 June

For more information about our Open Days and upcoming event programme, join Grow Lewisham's newsletter via this link, or email Sarah at

AFRIL Sundays: AFRIL Gardening Club Volunteering Every Other Sunday

Crofton Park Railway Garden Spring Market 29th April

Saturday 29th April Community Spring Market Crofton Park Railway Garden

with plant sale to raise funds for the community garden!

They’ve been doing some interesting activities recently:

Rehoboth Community BBQ Meal Monday 8th May Bank Holiday

They will have a bouncy castle and games for children too.

NB This is not an endorsement of the coronation by Good Food Lewisham, just sharing as it's a free community meal

FoodCycle Turns 7!

FoodCycle Lewisham celebrates its 7th birthday on Saturday 13th May at the newly refurbished Lewisham Irish Community Centre at 1.30 pm. Everyone is welcome to share in our sit-down, nutritious, vegetarian community meal, while the Lewisham Local Choir will be giving a performance.

Second Food Groups Round Table in May

Date TBC - likely to be a Wednesday afternoon in mid May, we'll update you soon. We’ll be focusing on volunteering and models for projects. Email:

Buckthorne Cutting Nature Reserve & Urban Tree Festival

The next Open Day at Buckthorne Cutting Nature Reserve: Celebrating the Urban Tree Festival: 21st May 2023 from 11am to 3pm. See:

Urban Tree Festival, 13 – 21 May:

Permaculture Events Around London

Permaculture events and courses around London and online, as well as resources:

Map of projects, some in Lewisham:


Good Food Lewisham Business Network Meeting

Our Business Breakfast meeting on 21st March at Lewisham Local’s office focussing on good food businesses in Lewisham was exciting. Lots of connections and link ups followed the event. Thanks to all who attended. Please see minutes and presentation here:

Get in touch if you want to be added to the new GFL Business Network WhatsApp group.

Mont58 Coffee

Maya from Mont58 coffee attended the Business network meeting. A fab local sustainable fairtrade coffee business. Supplying great local cafes such as Abbotshall Healthy Lifestyle Centre and the new - soon to be opened - Plateful café located at the Parkside space Lewisham. Plans to locally link up and train local baristas via the Pepys community hub with Cre8coffee.

Business Charter

If you are a Good Food Business, please sign up to the Good Food Lewisham Business Charter and get on the Lewisham Good Food Business Map.


Food Giving Survey

If you’re a food giving group that has engaged in the Food Network over the last year, we would be grateful if you could complete this short survey:

Food Growing Survey

We've made a survey for Lewisham growers. We would be very grateful if you could fill it in (especially if you’re involved in a growing project) so that we can get a picture of what people want and need locally in order to shape Lewisham Growing Network over the next year. It will take about 10 minutes to fill in. Get in touch with me if you have any questions –

Youth First Request for Food and Volunteers

Message from Victoria O’Brien, the Community & Events Fundraising Officer at Youth First:

Myself and Youth First are trying to source surplus food for our children for their after school sessions, we are located in Bellingham, Honor Oak, Sydenham and New Cross, if anyone here knows of anyone that could help us with this or any suggestions would be welcome? Thank you so much. Contact Victoria on

Are your Community Garden’s details in our list?

Check your garden details on here, let us know of any updates:


Citizens Advice Lewisham in person Advice First Aid training in May

More info about what the course includes:

The course will take place on Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th May 2023 between 10am-4pm (Lewisham venue tbc). You can register for the in person course by using this form:

Mental Health First Aid Course in May

We have a course running on Mental Health First Aid at St Mark's Church. Spaces are available to anyone in the community.

Course details are either,

Monday 22nd of May OR Tuesday 23rd of May

St Marks Church Baudwin Road SE6 1RN

Start time 9.15am and to be finished by 5pm.

Cost £60 per person, including lunch. (Please state dietary requirements when booking)

Car park available on site.

Accessibility - there is a portable ramp which can be used to help anyone with mobility issues, there is an accessible toilet in the hall. If you have any other questions about accessibility please get in touch.

Please email stating what date you would like to book and any diet requirements.

Good Food for all Londoners Report

Sustain’s annual report had lots of useful data and learnings including how Lewisham is doing in comparison to other boroughs:

Anti-racism in Community Food Growing Resources

Useful resources on anti-racism in community food growing:


Community Fridge Funding

Grants of £7,000 to deliver new activities relating to cooking, growing, budgeting and using surplus food available, deadline 31st May:

Windrush Funding: Deadline Midnight 27th April

Another funding opportunity, micro grants up to £500, deadline 27th April:

Micro grants of up to £500 available to support community groups and organisations to deliver projects that celebrate and recognise the contribution of the Windrush generation and their descendants in Lewisham. On 22 June 2023 we mark the 75th anniversary of Windrush Day. £5,000 will be available and we expect to fund at least 10 projects.

The application form can be found here on the Council’s website:

Contact: Sakthi Suriyaprakasam

Community Development Service Manager

Ext. 43310

Tel: 020 8314 3310

Friday Fundraising Club

New speakers lined up for Friday Fundraising Club. What treasures will you learn or share with others to make Lewisham even more wonderful?

21/4/23 Meet the Funder: Duke of Edinburgh Award funding

28/4/23 Phoenix housing

5/5/23 Donation station - contactless giving

12/5/23 Basic full cost recovery and Meet the Funder: London Catalyst

19/05/23 Yoello- scan, donate and pay

26/05/23 Publicity, by Michael Stuart

2/6/23 Low cost venue/desk space, The Albany

9/6/23 TBC

16/6/23 How to promote in a diplomatic way, The Black Policy Institute

23/6/23 What's 'Social return on investment' and how can small organisations show it? Jonathan Prince

30/6/23 TBC

7/7/23 Developing a budget and understanding what the terms mean, Selina Rice

14/7/23 In person social, CHECK TIMES

21/7/23 What's an asset based approach and how do you take one? Angela Schlenkhoff

28/7/23 Fundraising tips from local consultant Lillian Brown


Sign up on: The Zoom link is the same as always


"Welcome new volunteers to your group!" With the Big Help Out

Lewisham Local are looking for groups to host volunteer get togethers for The Big Help Out on Monday May 8th (and other days after that) across Lewisham. The big idea is using this day as a recruitment drive to give people a taste of what your community group does and translate that to a long term commitment.

Meet members of the GFL Steering Group

To support the development of Good Food Lewisham and our work to transform the local food system in Lewisham, we have a Steering Group who oversees the food partnership. We hope to introduce you to our Steering Group members over the coming months.

Introducing: Tariq Pir

“With 10 years plus experience in supporting and leading on delivery of high profile Government programmes including safety and security for London2012, Commonwealth Games 2014, and the £200m Youth Endowment Fund - preventing children and young people becoming involved in violence -, I was keen as a Lewisham citizen to offer my support and insights through skills I’ve acquired in strategy, governance, stakeholder engagement, and project and programme delivery to the Good Food Lewisham (GFL) team. Through our collective efforts I believe we can make a difference.”

Make a Referral for Lewisham Local’s Building People, Changing Minds Project

Find out more about and sign up for our Building People, Changing Minds project: Voluntary Work Placements for Adults with Learning Disabilities, Adults with Mental Ill Health and People Seeking Sanctuary:

The Loowisham Community Toilet of the Year Award

Please vote here for your favourite Lewisham toilet by the end of April!

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