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March 2023 Good Food Lewisham Newsletter: Women's Day, School Meals Day and UK Compost Week Special

Rehoboth Community Outreach winning their award

UK Compost Week

We’d like to mark two recent important dates and UK Compost Week this week 13 – 19 March. For International Women’s Day (8th March) we’d like to celebrate all the amazing women who work in food justice and food growing in the borough, and beyond, for example see the Women’s Environmental Network and all the work they do in Tower Hamlets. In Lewisham, the majority of people I’ve worked with so far in my role as Food Partnership Coordinator have been women.

International Women's Day

Reheboth Community Outreach Club food project recently won the Lewisham Home’s Residents Awards Community Group of the Year Award. It’s not just women who work there, but many in the group are (see photo). They have an open Crowdfunder at the moment.

Paula from the group said:

“Our Charity Rehoboth Community Outreach Club had the privilege on February 28 2023 to attend The Lewisham Homes Award. We won an awarded by Lewisham Homes in the category of Community Group of The Year. Also one of our volunteers who does the door-to-door food deliveries, got an award for her work on Hazel Grove Estate SE26 4JP. We are thankful for these awards which highlights the work we are doing in the communities of Lewisham. We are proud to be Lewisham.”

Honor Oak Community Centre celebrated women’s day with a cultural tea party. Sustainable Food Places have put together this list of their pick of the most poignant articles on International Women's Day on the importance and power of Women in Food and Farming.

International School Meal's Day

To mark International School Meals Day (9th March), a new campaign has launched. There’s been a lot happening around universal free school meals recently, which is on the back of years of campaigning around this. On 20th February, Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London) announced free school meals for every primary school child in London starting from next academic year September 2023. More information on the mayor’s website.

The campaign was launched by Sustain’s Children’s Food Campaign: SAY YES to School Food For All. It’s a new coalition campaign calling on the nation to back a shared vision of healthy school meals for all pupils (from nursery to sixth form college) by 2030. There’s a campaign video, new website and supporters’ map. Contact or to get a Comms pack and let them know if your school wants to support.

Right to Food London have been working hard on free school meals in Lewisham. They have regular local meetings. Email if you’re interested in getting involved. Lewisham is a Right to Food borough which is part of the forthcoming Food Justice Action Plan programme.

There’s also campaigning going on for Water Only Schools with toolkits available.


We can’t believe it’s nearly the end of the first year of GFL at Lewisham Local. We’ve been focusing on food justice and food growing this year and we’ll soon be planning what to focus on next year. We had our latest Steering Group meeting on 6th March and will be developing this group, looking at how we make decisions, what skills we need etc. Do get in touch if you’d be interested in joining the SG.

The Next GFL quarterly network meeting will be on Tuesday 21st March on local good food businesses. Sign up on Eventbrite. We’ll be covering the London Living Wage, our new business charter, digital media and other support for businesses, apprenticeships, cooperatives and tools for offering sustainable foods and reducing food waste in catering. We’ll have contributions from Goldsmiths Uni on their business support, Lewisham council, local business and members of GFL. We’ll also be visiting Ed the Baker’s bakery around the corner after the meeting.

Our new Business Charter is just ready – hot off the press! We’ll be visiting local businesses to get them to sign up and encourage and support them to make pledges towards some of the points. Let us know if you’d like more information on the different aspects.

We have a new volunteer who’ll be visiting food giving projects to see how they’re getting on, regularly updating our Where to Get Free Food in Lewisham List and talking about the Nutrition and Recipe Book for Black African and Caribbean Families. We have some physical copies of the recipe book in the Lewisham Local office if anyone wants one, but not many, so one per project.

We’re in the process of finalising the latest update to the food list, which will be an article on our GFL website next week (as well as a PDF on the Lewisham Local site as it is now). We have other volunteers helping on the project too, which is really valuable.

Lewisham Local’s new Community Directory is up and running. Please check if your project is on there and if the details are correct, if not contact my colleague Maria on The idea is that groups will be able to update their information themselves sometime soon.


Survey for Food Giving Groups

We’ve made a short survey for food giving groups to assess the impact of our support over the last year, to provide a baseline for future years and sense check what support is needed going forward. It would be great if your food giving group could please complete this by the end of March. Survey: This will help us to listen and learn about what groups needs. Please get in touch if you have any questions about the survey.

Food Justice Action Plan Update

The Food Justice Action Plan will be launched at the end of April – hopefully on Wednesday 26th April, they are just awaiting final confirmation from speakers and are aiming to get invitations out in the next few weeks.

We’re discussing how the FJAP Alliance and Good Food Lewisham Food Partnership will fit together.

New Food Bank

House of Bread Church of God have recently set up a new food bank, opening monthly on the second Saturday of the month, in partnership with Looprun.

Greater Faith Ministries Monthly Community Meal

Monthly free community meal on the second Friday of the month 5-7pm, first come, first served. Aiming to serve 30-40 people. Vegetarian options available. At the Leemore Centre, 29-31 Clarendon Rise, SE13 5EY, use the Bonfield Road Entrance.

Bear Church Deptford Community Meal

Every Sunday (apart from first Sunday of the month) 6.30 - 7.30pm during school term time at Evelyn Community Centre, 1 Kingfisher Square, SE8 5TW. This is their current venue after having to move from a previous one.

Getting Fresh Food from City Harvest

Two or three food projects in the borough are getting fresh food from City Harvest. It can take a while after signing up to their waiting list to actually start getting food and they currently don’t deliver much in Lewisham. We’re hoping that if a few Lewisham groups sign up and say that they know that other Lewisham groups are getting deliveries, it may become possible to get more deliveries in the borough. You can sign up here.

You need to have a Level 2 Food Safety certificate to join the waiting list. There are a few online courses of varying price. Get in touch if you’re interested in doing one, as we may get a discount if we book in bulk.

A group who’s already getting food from City Harvest has offered to ask to get more delivered and for two or three Lewisham groups to collect from them, get in touch with Helen if you’re interested in this

Upcoming IFAN Training & Second Food Groups Round Table

I’ve been liaising with the Independent Food Aid Network to organise training in the borough about how to use the updated Worrying About Money leaflets. They’ve got funding to deliver Money Counts training for London boroughs this spring, so that should be happening in April, watch this space.

I’m also planning the second Round Table together with Lewisham Homes. This will focus on volunteers and models of food projects, and will include an update from the first session on funding and food supply. This is also likely to happen in April.

Family Hubs Opening in Lewisham throughout 2023

Lewisham is one of 75 Local Authorities receiving funding from the Department for Education to March 2025 to introduce Family Hubs and the Start for Life Programme. Family hubs are a place-based way of joining up locally in the planning and delivery of family services. They bring services together to improve access, improve the connections between families, professionals, services, and providers, and put relationships at the heart of family support. Family Hubs offer support to families with children of all ages, which is 0-19 or up to 25 for those with special educational needs and disabilities. Part of this work will be about nutrition and feeding, so a potential overlap with food justice in the borough. Find out more by emailing:


Quarterly Network Meeting on Local Food Growing and Foraging

We had a successful and well attended network meeting on 31st January. We discussed Grow to Give initiatives, foraging, Equality/Diversity/Inclusion, the benefits of working together in a network and had a tour of Stanstead Lodge’s lovely gardens. We’re launching the next phase of developing Lewisham Growing Network in March for a year, with funding for a year. Please find the minutes and more info on our website. This includes information about Grow Lewisham, Capital Growth, Stanstead Lodge gardening group and more.

Survey for Food Growing Groups and Growers

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 – It would be great if you could do this by end of Monday 20th March if possible, thank you. We’ll collate the information and organise a launch event in the spring.

New RHS Garden at Lewisham Hospital

This will be officially opening at the end of March. They currently have volunteering every Tuesday 10.30 - 2.30, contact Alice if you’re interested in getting involved on They’ll have beds for vegetables/edibles, lots of space for ornamentals, seats and a covered area. We have some free seeds from them in the LL office if groups want some? One per group. Let us know.

News from Local Schools

St Winifred’s School are doing loads of exciting stuff with their kitchen garden, raised beds, cooking skills, composting, as well as running their own food bank and raising money for the Felix Project and taking donations to Lewisham Donation Hub. They’ve got other inspiring activities they’re doing around sustainability. They’ve had funding from School Food Matters, who provide useful resources including a checklist for headteachers around developing a good food culture in schools. If you’re part of a school or know of one who’s doing this kind of work, please let us know so we can add these to our list of gardens and start to encourage other schools to do something similar.


Seed(ling) Swap and other Growing Workshops as part of the Telegraph Hill Festival

The festival will take place from 18th March –2nd April. See the programme here. On 30th March from 3.30pm to 5pm a free workshop: Start sowing and growing now to bring along spare seedlings (egg cartons make great pots for them) to swap and share with others. Meet outside the Hill Station Bar & Café: SE14 5TW.

Bank of Things First Birthday and Community Youth Fridge Launch Saturday 25th March

Unit 19 will host a Spring Fair raising funds for Rushey Green Time Bank, Bank of Things and Wild Cat Wilderness to mark the first year of Bank of Things and welcome their new service, a Community Youth fridge, offering surplus food aimed at young people living in Lewisham. The fair will have a tombola, cake sale, handmade crochet and knits, jams, preserves and chutneys, stationery and arts and crafts. The event will be on from 12 Midday to 4pm.

Going forward the fridge will be open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3 to 5:30pm offering food parcels of surplus food, available to young people 11 to 25 years old.

AFRIL Gardening Club Volunteering Every Other Sunday

Grow Lewisham Monthly Workshops at ‘The Plot’, next one Sunday 2nd April

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 2 April, 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

Bridgehouse Gardens

Bridgehouse Gardens is a project that seeks to activate the existing and create new public spaces with the community along Rollins Street and Winslade Estate in the North of Lewisham. These spaces will be centred around greening, cultural and community infrastructure, food growing, education and recreation to explore alternative approaches to community cohesion and just futures. Bridgehouse Gardens will involve activities, workshops, events that will seek to activate these spaces through active participation and collaboration. They recently had a session on building garden planters and have other sessions coming up. For info please email:

Next Food Network Zoom Meeting

On Thursday 30th March we'll be focusing on Appreciative Inquiry/What does food support at it’s best look like in Lewisham? Please sign up on Eventbrite:

Joining details:

Lewisham Local is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: An Appreciative Inquiry into Food Support at its Best in Lewisham

Time: Mar 30, 2023 01:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 894 5716 2095

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Compost Workshop Online 30th March

Compost isn’t called ‘Black Gold’ for nothing. It’s expensive to buy but so satisfying to make yourself once you get stuck in. Composting is nature’s Circular Economy, where food waste is reduced and reused. Compost holds essential nutrients and moisture needed for good plant growth. It is rich in organic matter and this feeds the worms.

The Active Wellbeing Society have partnered with Food For Life Get Togethers to Bring Composting to Life: Join us to hear how some Birmingham organisations are turning their waste in to compost and get a glimpse of some of the exciting composting projects that are spreading across the city.

There will also be a demonstration of Bokashi Composting which means that you can compost any food once you have mastered a few simple rules. Plus, learn how you can save £££’s with a quick, effective and cheap method to fill planters and get growing straight away instead of buying lots of shop-bought compost, a real winner!

The live event will be recorded for those unable to attend on the day.

Any questions please contact Andrea Gibbons, .

Sydenham Garden Youth Project


Real Bread Week

It was Real Bread Week 18-26th February. We have some great local real bakers and independent shops selling bread in the borough - Ed the Baker, Coopers Bakehouse, stalls at Catford Food Market and Brockley Market, Good Food shops in Catford and Sydenham. As well as independent bakeries, such as Hirst near Lewisham Hospital.

Ed the Baker is now delivering real bread once a week around the borough. Please sign up via this link:

You can order Sunday – Wednesday, with bread delivered on Fridays. They’re also going to be hosting a mini coffee shop soon, with a few tables serving artisan speciality coffees alongside their real bread and baked goods. I popped in there recently to get a lovely veggie lunch. It’s a bit off the beaten track but well worth a visit to support a local business selling amazing products.

Fairtrade Fortnight

We’ve just come to the end of Fairtrade Fortnight (27th February – 12th March). Let us know if your business sells fair trade products. Some local businesses that do include: Hill Station Café, Migration Museum Shop, Sans Store Independent Grocer, Catford Mews Independent Cinema and Café/Bar, The Albany Event Space Café and Good Food Grocer and Delis in Catford and Sydenham. Some of these do discounts with the Lewisham Local Card. Get yours here.

The Fairtrade Foundation are documenting the campaigning that’s going on around the country on Fairtrade: Guide to buying fair trade:

They have resources for businesses, schools etc.

Ever Wanted to Run a Local Social Enterprise Brewery?

Ignition Brewery in Sydenham is a successful local social enterprise. The Brewery is a vibrant, South London brewery which employs and trains people with learning disabilities to brew great beer. They are a not-for-profit company, paying the London Living Wage to their trainee brewers. They are looking for new management and/or a transfer of ownership. They are asking for Expressions of Interest to run Ignition from the Autumn. These can be from groups, organisations, charities, or current staff team.

The Expression of Interest – what we would like from you. Please send us a document (no more than five pages) which outlines the following:

• Who you are – and why you are interested in Ignition • Your core values – and how they are manifested practically • Your experience – in hospitality and employment, and in working with people with learning disabilities • Your vision –what would you do with Ignition and what is the outline plan for achieving this vision? • Our purpose is to create meaningful jobs for people with learning disabilities – how would you fulfil this? • The first six months – what would your priorities be? • Missing pieces – if there is anything you feel you might lack or need help with, please be honest as we may be able to help • Financial information about your organisation. Specifically; turnover, debts, assets, reserves, profit and loss.

The primary contact for this process is Nick O’Shea, General Manager and Director who can send you more detailed information if you’re interested. Favours the telephone: 07759 155 177 Email:

Sydenham Tap Room Monthly Jazz Night


General Volunteering Needs and Offers

Please contact Bettina at Lewisham Local if you’re looking to advertise a volunteer role or if you’re looking to volunteer at a food project and we can match people and opportunities. We also have a volunteers newsletter that we can promote your roles in.

Reheboth Community Outreach Club Food Project Need More Volunteers

Reheboth are in need of volunteers with Hygiene Certificate L1 or L2 with experience of cooking approximately 290 - 300 meals in 3 hours. The work is challenging, involving washing up large pots, pans and baking trays after each session. They have a high turn over of volunteers as the work is hard. If you feel up to the challenge, please email to find out more:

Wildcat Wilderness Community Garden Looking for More Volunteers

Join a group of local people to help maintain and improve our wonderful community green space on a Thursday afternoon or Friday morning. No experience necessary and all adults welcome. Full details and book via the What’s On page.

Get involved in nature conservation, growing organic food, orchard and tree care, maybe build something, make something, there’s always lots to do to suit all abilities. Come along and learn some new skills whilst having fun and making the most of being outdoors in nature. Come for one session, every week or as frequently as suits you. Please bring water, lunch and hand sanitiser. Wear outdoor clothes – sturdy shoes and clothes which you don’t mind getting dirty, plus bring your waterproofs if you have some as we will still go ahead if raining and do something undercover. You will be required to wear gloves if handling any tools so if you have gardening gloves please bring some or you can borrow a pair.

Bring a phone to gain entry as we share the entrance with the Long Meadow Allotments. The gate is next to no 53 River View Park SE6 4PL. No entry from the other side of the Pool River and beware that sat navs can take you to the wrong place. A contact telephone number will be on the gate to gain entry. We look forward to welcoming you.

Grow Lewisham's Invitation to join their Growing Community

Are you interested in getting more involved in growing & gardening projects this year? Join our growing community in 2023! We have some exciting volunteer roles coming up, down at our community garden in South Lewisham and our associated projects across the Borough.

Why get involved?

~Join a friendly community of food growers, gardeners & climate justice advocates.

~Gain access to growing & gardening space, free workshops & resources.

~Connect with nature & the local environment.

~Regular opportunities to share your skills, learn new ones & participate in creative activities.

Roles include:

~Lead Growers / Gardeners (monthly commitment)

~GL Growing Collective (monthly commitment)

~Event & Workshop Hosts (ad hoc)

~GL Riders (ad hoc, supporting our Grow Mobile, our mobile workshop programme!)

No matter your experience, there’s a role for everyone! We can be flexible with your availability. For full details, check out our information pack via this link. To sign-up, complete our form here via this link. Any questions, get in touch with Sarah at

Documentary on Afro-Caribbean Food Growing

Researcher and film-maker seeks participants to interview:


Sydenham Garden Practical Organic Gardening Course

Citizens Advice Lewisham Training March and May

There are two Advice First Aid courses coming up organised via Citizens Advice Lewisham. More info about what the course includes:

Course 1 - The first AFA 2 day course will take place online on Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd March 2023 between 10am-4pm. You can now register for the 2 day online course by using this form:

Course 2 (same course just in person) - The first in person 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:

Money Guiders England Network Event

On 28th March an event for people who advise people with money problems. Book on Eventbrite:


Grow Wild Community Grants from Kew Gardens

Deadline 24th March, up to £2000:

To bring local people together to transform an urban space by sowing and growing UK native wildflowers and/or plants.

Grants for Allotment Associations

Grants of between £250 and £2,000 are available to registered Allotment Associations and committees across the UK for the improvement and development of facilities on registered and permitted sites. The funding is being made available by the National Allotment Gardens Trust which aims to advance and improve the Allotments/Gardens movement through education, training, workshops and support. Non-statutory sites may also be granted funding if a long-term lease is in place.

Applications will be assessed by the Board of Trustees on a quarterly basis. The next deadline for applications is the 1st April 2023. More information here:

Funding for Community Projects in North Lewisham

Funding for projects in the North of the Lewisham borough, deadline 17th March. You can apply for up to £4000.

Green Business Grants


Digital Lewisham: A Community Conversation

An event looking at Lewisham Local’s Community Directory and Artificial Intelligence tools on Wednesday 22nd March 2-4pm.

Sessions at the Horniman

A series of free open sessions at the Horniman Museum and Gardens. For the next three Thursdays; 16th, 23rd, 30 March. Come along and drop in to the museum for relaxed, free object handling and family activities. The sessions will 3pm and 5pm.

The sessions will be held in the Hands on Base.

It’s a chance to get up close and explore some of the wonderful objects from the natural and human worlds. For the first couple of sessions we’ll be looking at some Fairtrade objects, from textiles to talking drums. We’ll also have some simple craft activities for children to enjoy. You can also stay to explore other objects in the open-access Discovery Boxes, too - everyone of all ages is welcome.

We also run a programme where you and your group can design and lead sessions like this for our visitors – if you may be interested in this, do come along to see what the space and sessions feels like. Email - Hannah:

SELCE Energy Café on Fridays

South East London Community Energy are providing expert energy advice in Catford on Fridays during the winter months.

Local projects to Mark Women’s Day

In case people haven’t heard of this local resource, the Feminist Library in Peckham (just outside Lewisham) is a community space and library. They do events, book clubs and all sorts and have a crowd funder open at the moment.

Another project that I’ve recently discovered is the Rose Tree Project, which works on creating space for women who have experienced abuse in relationships, doing activities around food growing cycling etc.

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