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December GFL Newsletter festive special - warm welcomes, free Christmas meals, locally made gifts

Julian from Grow Lewisham's Herbal Pot Garden with a festive wreath at the RHS Lewisham Hospital Wellbeing Garden

Thanks for everything you've all done this year for Good Food and beyond. We wish you a relaxing and fun festive break and look forward to working with you in 2024.

Warm Welcomes this Winter

Lewisham Local are coordinating Warm Welcomes again this winter – this time from December until end of March. There’ll be a map and more info coming soon. Many will be providing food this year. List and info on LL website: 


Save the Date for GFL’s next Quarterly Network Meeting 

Our next meeting will take place on Wednesday 24th January at Christ Church Bellingham 12.30 - 3.30pm. 

They are offering a warm welcome on Fridays. 


We’ll have lunch 12.30 - 1.30, then the meeting 1.30 - 3.30. If people would like to help set up and pack down (12 – 12.30 and 3.30 - 4) that would be great. If you’d like to offer lunch, please let us know too (we have a small budget). 


Part of the meeting will be getting people’s ideas for what the GFL network could do over the next three years. We’re working out the rest of the topics at the moment and will share more information soon. 

LL AGM Report Back + New LL Website

The Lewisham Local AGM and launch of the community exchange went well. It was packed with people discussing social value and enjoying great food. There was a lot of interest in the GFL stall. If you want to offer or request something, visit the Community Exchange here: 


The main LL website has been re-done, now looking much better, with clear lists of projects e.g. community gardens here:  


And community meals and food provision here: 

Allan and Helen at the GFL stall at the AGM

Tribute to Miriam Longmore (Words: Laura Tilbury)

Miriam at the food bank and at the Food Giving Groups Round Table in May

It is with great sadness to inform you of the news of Miriam Longmore’s passing. Miriam was a key food partner champion dedicated to her group Glory Days. Miriam’s love and care to her community was shown in her personally picking up and delivering food throughout the pandemic to those stranded and isolated in their homes. Her faith and hard work continued after lock down with growing food at the church allotments and being a pillar of support at the Rehoboth Food Bank. Our thoughts and prayers are with Elaine and her family Emmerson, Marvin and Marley. Remembering Miriam’s strength and care to those facing food insecurity. The elderly people, and families she helped and supported through such challenging times. Miriam will be greatly missed by the Lewisham Food community.


Christmas Provision List

Good Food Lewisham and Community Connections Lewisham have put together this Christmas provision list of useful services, free Christmas meals and food provision: 


Thanks to those of you who are offering free Christmas meals and other Christmas food services – it’s very much appreciated. 


We would really appreciate it if people can read through this list and if there are any meals or food services you're aware of that aren't included please let us know. This year there are quite a few meals in the week before Christmas but not that many from Christmas Eve onwards which is a bit concerning. We’ve had a lot of requests for this list this year but not as many groups coming forward with offers. 


Please share this far and wide. 

We’re currently updating our general provision list to be distributed soon.

New Food Cycle Meal on Wednesdays

FoodCycle Lewisham has started a second community meal at the Lewisham Irish Community Centre on Wednesdays 1.30-3.00pm. Aimed at anyone in need of a hot meal or suffering from loneliness, we provide a three course vegetarian nutritious meal in a warm friendly setting. The last meal of the year will be on the 20th December. They will be returning on the 3rd January. 



Healthy Start

Do you know of anyone that has children under 4 years old and on universal credit? They should be entitled to a Healthy Start pre-paid Card to help to buy fruit, veg and milk. Please spread the word.


Report backs from Lewisham Growing Network Events: Essential Oils Workshop and Forest Gardening Course 

Essential Oils Workshop: 


Participants in Lewisham Growing Network Essential Oils workshop found the workshop very insightful and useful. Heli's knowledge is immense, and we appreciated how she was open to our interests and needs as individuals and as a group. It was a great introduction to understanding the manifold uses of essential oils, from the garden to the body and mind. Many thanks to Heli, Grow Lewisham and Farmstead Road Community Garden.

Workshop taking place at Farmstead Road Community Garden


Forest Gardening Course: 


'I found it very insightful, and the teaching process of Rakesh engaging and inspirational.' 


'The workshop was so enjoyable and engaging and a perfect starting point for me to get involved with your projects. I have been meaning to for ages. You made it very accessible so thank you so much for organising this. Rakesh was an excellent teacher, very inspiring and full of knowledge.' 


We’re planning some more events for the new year. Let us know if you’d like to be added to the food growing WhatsApp group. 

Forest gardening course taking place at Bridgehouse Gardens

LRMN Gardening Sessions

Regular gardening sessions at LRMN garden. Next one Wednesday is 13th December, then after that 31st January (which will be inside), more January dates to be confirmed soon.


Learn to Lay a Hedgerow

At Hilly Fields park 15th and 16th December 10am - 3pm. Help us restore Hilly Fields park by planting hedgerow and maintaining hedgerows with Hedgerow Heroes! 


Golden Ladies Food Bank Event 16th December

Cultural Market 16th December

Meal and event at Pepys Community Centre Meal + Event 16th December

2000 Community Action Centre's Holiday Market Place 16th December

Warm Welcomes This Winter

Rehoboth Christmas Meal 21st December

Honor Oak Community Christmas Meal 25th December 

Honor Oak Community The Love Fellowship free Christmas meal

Monthly Food Giving Zooms + Food Justice Workshop with Plenty to Share 

Our next monthly zoom session will be a 2 hour workshop  


This Is Rubbish who run the Plenty To Share initiative is offering a free 2 hour workshop on food justice for staff, volunteers and people using food aid in Lewisham to help us reflect on the causes of food insecurity and what it is and help us work towards our vision of where we no longer have a need for emergency food aid in Lewisham. 


Limited places available so RSVP early. 


Thursday 11th January 1-3pm: 



Next dates are: 8th February, 7th March, 4th April. 


Let us know if you’d like to present on or discuss a specific topic 


Sign up on Eventbrite here

GFL Quarterly Network Meeting 24th January

See info above. Save the date! Wednesday 24th January at Christ Church Bellingham 12.30 - 3.30pm, lunch included.

Workshop for Local Businesses on Circular Economy + Environmental Impact with ReLondon: High Streets Beyond Waste

If you're a high street business and looking to improve your environmental impact and save money by reducing waste, join Re-London's free workshop for businesses to find out how to apply for grant funding to bring your ideas to life. 


Interactive, in person session on Tuesday 30th January 9.30 - 11.30am. 


More information and to book your place: 


Seat at the Table hospitality course – Deadline 15th Dec

The Ben’s Original™ Seat at the Table™ programme will support access to skills building and mentorship for Black hospitality workers in the UK – helping to create more equitable opportunities to advance diversity in the food industry. The programme is delivered in partnership with Be Inclusive Hospitality and the educational provider is Leiths School of Food and Wine. It aims to advance diversity in the food industry by addressing racial inequality in access to opportunities. 


December Business Networking Event + Resources for Businesses

Lewisham Business team had their Christmas Business network meeting at The Catford Bridge Tavern -  “Large and small stakeholders came from around the borough - start-ups from all sectors. Whatever stage your business idea is at, there is help there.” Raymond Kinsella and the team brought business together to network and show the wealth of opportunities for help and support in the borough. 


Great to speak to Jon the manager of The Catford Bridge Tavern and hear of his sustainable aims as a business with food waste separation, great menu and future link up with The Catford Soup Kitchen to help with food insecurity and poverty in the borough. 


Sign up here to join Lewisham Council’s business email list to get useful info, such as these useful resources: 


The Lewisham Business Resilience & Growth Programme (BRAG) is back offering eligible Lewisham businesses access to a range of free business support activities designed to help your business overcome its challenges, grow and prosper 


Get funding to hire an Apprentice 

Hiring an apprentice can add enormous value to your business and Lewisham Council can support you to find local talent, as well as providing funding to cover training costs.  

We are hosting an online information session on Thursday 14 December (10am) for Lewisham businesses who want to find out how to make a success of apprenticeships. To register your interest, please email

Plateful Café Yalda Event + Christmas Menu + Christmas Gifts

On the 15th December we’re looking forward to welcoming you to our YALDA Celebration. Yalda is an Iranian festival marking the Iranian Winter Solstice and the evening will include delicious food, poetry and traditional live music! 



Plateful Café runs from Parkside Community Centre SE10 8FY every Thursday to Saturday 10am - 3pm. 

Local Products at Forster Memorial Park Christmas Market

Catford Honey and natural beeswax candles on sale at the park Christmas market on 17th December.  


Grow your own flowers; seeds from our community sensory garden. Lots of food stalls to taste flavours of the local businesses. Wrap up warm and experience alfresco dining. Meet and speak to the growers: the Forster Park gardening team are recruiting! Join the Friends group for activities and take an individual tour of the sensory garden after lunch. 

Ed the Baker Online Shop

You can buy lots of lovely products from Ed either at his shop or online: 


Ed held a festive celebration to thank customers and supporters. All his food is so tasty!

Ed at his bakery with food and festivities (he's cutting an almond dessert)


Christmas Markets with local products in Lewisham

All the Christmas markets: Lewisham Council - Discover Lewisham 


Beckenham Place Park: 


Save the Household Support Fund

This is due to end after March 2024. There isn’t an official campaign (at the time of writing), but you can write to your MP. Some organisations have started to work on this issue, documenting how it’s been useful and writing a joint statement:



London Living Wage 

The London Living Wage has now increased. The new 2023-24 real Living Wage rates were announced on the 24th October as £13.15 in London. Read more including a recent event to mark London Living Wage week: 




Explore Volunteer Opportunities with Lewisham Food Project and Growing Sites

Are you interested in volunteering with a community food project near you? Volunteer with a local food bank or project - Lewisham Local 

Lewisham Local is updating a volunteering page which features local food projects  to promote opportunities at Christmas. If your project would like to recruit more volunteers and be featured on this page, please complete this form: Post a Volunteering Opportunity - Lewisham Local or email 

Can you contribute to improving Children and Family Centres + Family Hubs? 

Lewisham Council are in the process of reviewing and developing services that support children and their families. This includes the current Children and Family Centres offer and our emerging Family Hubs offer.     


The aim of these services is to promote the positive health, wellbeing and development of children and young people and to support their families to achieve this. 


We want to make sure we co-produce services that reflect the needs of all children and families in Lewisham. We are really keen to hear from parents and carers about how these services are currently working, any gaps or issues we should be focusing on, and what our priorities should be over the next few years. This will help us to develop and deliver the services our families deserve.  


We are looking for 

  • parents/carers from Black and Minority Ethnic Communities 

  • parents/carers with children 0-5 years in particular (we can consult with some families with children up to 7 years old) 

  • Lewisham residents 

  • Parents/carers who may or may not have used Children and Family Centre services before. 

We will provide £10 shopping vouchers for each participant. We can come along to pop ups at community centres, food banks, Citizens Advice etc. 


What we need 

  • Organisations to signpost to pop up, according to the criteria above 

  • Organisations to hold a focus group session for 10-12 participants that they have invited according to the criteria (it can be part of another event e.g. Christmas event, workshop etc). 


December 2023 and early January 2024 


Please email if you would be willing to host a pop-up.

Can anyone offer free use of a kitchen in August for group to prepare for Noting Hill Carnival?

United Kreyol Mas (UKM) - the first official French Caribbean carnival group - is looking for a free use of a kitchen during August to prepare for the Notting Hill Carnival as they have outgrown their home cooking set up. 

Beyond the carnival, we work to bring people together and teach about our culture. We plan to set up events and workshops about French Caribbean culture e.g. a course on the French Caribbean carnival, its history, and how it blends African, European, and Indigenous influences; cooking workshops on French Caribbean dishes and their backgrounds.

Please contact if you are able to support for August 2024. 


Household Support Fund (until end of March 2024) Info Sessions 12th + 13th December


Information sessions to provide Lewisham based organisations with details about this winter's Lewisham Household Support Fund ('23-'24), how to refer to it and answer any questions. Two sessions 12th and 13th December. 


The Household Support Fund, administered by South East London Community Energy, is for households in Lewisham who are struggling to keep warm and pay their energy bills this winter.  


The fund offers households: 

  • Fuel vouchers for prepayment meter or bill payments up to £200 

  • Heated gilets and battery packs (for external charging) 

  • Microwavable toys for children 

  • Emergency white goods or warming accessories (bedding, etc) 

  • Heat Doctor visit, heating system maintenance and repair for private-rental or owner-occupier households that are responsible for the upkeep of their boilers 

Cost of Living Support – Lewisham Council + Citizens Advice Lewisham

Find a range of support and advice services available via Lewisham Council’s Cost-of-Living Support Page : Lewisham Council - Cost of living crisis 

Including new face-to-face drop-in advice services across the borough by Citizens Advice Lewisham

Clyde Family Hub SE8 5NH, every Tuesday, 9am-5pm  

St John the Baptist Church SE6 2RP, every Wednesday, 12 noon-2pm  

999 Club SE8 4PA , every Wednesday, 10am-2pm  

Perry Rise Baptist Church SE23 2QL, every Thursday, 12 noon-2pm  

Christ Church URC SE6 3HQ, every Friday, 2–4.30pm (from November)

Fuel Poverty Advice at drop in Energy Cafes with South East London Community Energy

SELCE energy cafes 



Energy Café drop ins (please check with SELCE directly as some of these may be ending soon):

Club Thrive by Be Inclusive Hospitality

A membership club dedicated to supporting the professional development of individuals working in the hospitality, food, and drink industries: 


British Nutrition Foundation ‘Breakfast Report’ explains the importance of breakfast for health and educational attainment in school-aged children 

The British Nutrition Foundation, supported by Magic Breakfast, published a new review on the importance of breakfast for health and educational attainment in school-aged children on 21st  November. 

The key findings of the review were: 

-Skipping breakfast is widespread in school-aged children. It is higher in teenagers, especially girls, and children from low-income households. 

-Regularly missing out on breakfast can make it harder for children to get enough of the nutrients they need to be healthy and to learn. 

-Free school breakfast provision could help reduce hunger and may help to address educational inequalities for the most vulnerable young people. 

-Breakfast provision should be part of a whole school approach to healthy eating. 

We encourage all schools to consider including breakfast provision as part of a whole school approach to healthy eating. 

Practical Food Skills Videos by ‘Food A Fact of Life’

These videos are designed to show pupils how to safely and hygienically carry out different key food preparation techniques. Please share with any schools you have links to. 


The videos: 

  • are clear and concise; 

  • demonstrate the key aspects of different food skills; 

  • end with a bulleted summary of what has been shown; 

  • are carried out by pupils, to be relatable for young people. 


RMUK Seven Ways to Good Mental Wellbeing + Rastafari Guide

New wellbeing guide from Good Thinking, NHS, RMUK and others. Read it here.


Community Energy Fund + Help to apply from SELCE


Deadline 18th December 


Grants of up to £10,000.  


Community and voluntary groups, including cooperatives, faith and equalities groups, social enterprises, and schools, are encouraged to apply if they have projects that generate renewable energy, reduce fuel consumption, and promote awareness about energy efficiency. 


South East London Community Energy (SELCE) is a community energy cooperative and society for community benefit that helps individuals, businesses, and community organisations to transition to clean energy. They offer a range of impartial advice services, to help people who are struggling with their energy bills, want to invest in greening their property, or are organisations that are looking to become more sustainable. 

They can advise on how we can help you access the Lewisham Community Energy Fund to receive the benefits and become sustainable.  


Meet the Funder

There have been a few funders interested in doing Meet the Funder events and the Fundraising Development Manager, Karen, is pinning down the details. Please check the brochure for those coming up. Even when the brochure updates, the link stays the same. You may want to add it as one of your Favourites so you can check back periodically.

Karen also updates the Friday Fundraising Club WhatsApp when the brochure is updated (see below).

Lots of funders! 

If you are a Lewisham group then you can sign up to Friday Fundraising Club WhatsApp. If you are interested in sharing fundraising ideas and funders that don’t suit you, but might suit others come and share your knowledge!

Innovate Now with City Bridge Foundation

Exciting new funding for Black-led charities & social enterprises delivering support to Black and Global Majority communities in London. The first of three funding rounds is now open, with plenty of time to submit expressions of interest.

More information here:  

Fundraising Development Manager Karen is looking at ways to help groups access this fund so keep your eyes peeled in the brochure if you think you need help. 

Deptford Challenge Trust

This grant-making charitable trust aims to improve the quality of life for people who live and work in a defined area of Lewisham, covering Deptford and parts of New Cross. A representative joined us for Breakfast Club and the Fundraising Development Manager, Karen, is seeking to do an in person event. Once this is set up she will update the brochure. 

Deadline midday 22nd January 2024. 



Legendary Community Club Christmas Fundraiser

Support this great project:  

Bank of Things Christmas Appeal

Bank of things are asking for donations towards their Christmas appeal to provide festive gift packages to over 350 of the most vulnerable young people living in Lewisham.  

To make a donation please visit  


Or send us an email 

Feeding Lewisham’s young people this Christmas

Youth First, need your help in addressing the rising food insecurity of many of the young people that they work with.

Christmas Toy Appeal by the Salvation Armymore info and to donate here.



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