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November Good Food Lewisham Newsletter: Jam-packed with community action + useful resources

Two Mindful Bees Foraging, Cooking and Growing September Activity

Lewisham Local Community Exchange Launch & AGM

Lewisham Local, who are the hosts of Good Food Lewisham (GFL) would like to invite you to attend on Wednesday 29th of November from 4pm-7pm at Lewisham Migration Museum. There’ll be a GFL stall – come and say hi! 

New Good Food Lewisham Volunteers

We are very happy to welcome Ugne, Allan and Alex to the team as new volunteers who have been helping us with outreach, research and communications including this newsletter! – we’re very grateful to have the on board to support our work to transform the local food system in Lewisham.

Warm Welcomes

Lewisham Local is coordinating Warm Welcome spaces again this winter. We’ll be announcing the information in a few weeks, with more to follow in December’s newsletter. There’ll be a good geographical spread of places, so hopefully somewhere near you. Projects will be running December – March. Find out more in our next monthly zoom on 30th November 1pm.

REDI for Change Anti-racism Toolkit Training

Food Matters have designed a ‘REDI’ - Race Equity Diversity and Inclusion - Toolkit which supports food organisations and food partnerships to review their culture, practice and people through the lens of Race, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. Some partnerships are about to conclude the first stage of this process and can share what they’ve learnt. One outcome for some groups has been writing an anti-racism organisational statement and taking associated actions.  


Would your organisation be interested in a training to learn how to undertake this process? Please email to express an interest or discuss your training needs in more detail. 




Launch of the Lewisham Food Justice Alliance

The Lewisham Food Justice Alliance is launched! 

To mark London Challenge Poverty Week (16th - 22nd of October 2023), Lewisham Public Health and Lewisham Local invited partners to attend the launch event for the new Lewisham Food Justice Alliance which will help to support the delivery of Lewisham’s Food Justice Action Plan. You can read about the Alliance and progress made six months on from the Food Justice Action Plan launch on our blog. If you are interested in joining the Lewisham Food Justice Alliance, please email: 

Maximising Health with Healthy Start

Discover the invaluable support that Healthy Start offers to Lewisham families, ensuring access to essential fruits, vegetables, and milk.

What to do if you need to refer an infant to get emergency formula milk

Many foodbanks and social supermarkets get people with young infants asking if they can get infant formula milk. Your project may come across families in need. There’s now a new Emergency Infant Formula Milk Pathway in Lewisham. 


In one of our recent monthly zoom sessions, we had a presentation from Natalie Coates -Start For Life Specialist Infant Feeding Health Visitor – and Lakhvinder Matharu - Public Health Officer. They explained the Emergency pathway and the referral process. 


This provision is for Lewisham families who are facing crisis and can’t afford or access infant formula milk for their infants. Please note, the infant must be 0-12 months and live in Lewisham.   


It’s important that families needing emergency infant milk are referred to the Lewisham Health Visiting Service, so that a full feeding assessment and other support to ensure that the short- and long-term needs of the baby are met in what can be complex situations. 


If you have any questions, please contact Natalie and or Lakhvinder on and/or for a referral form and more information. 

Access Free Vitamin D from Lewisham Council

You can access free Vitamin D via Lewisham Council:

Christmas Provision List

A reminder that this is our current free and cheap food list. Let us know if any general updates to your servies, as well as if you're planning anything different for that period – extra food or meals, different opening times etc. We’re compiling a list with Community Connections to distribute at the end of November. We’re already getting quite a few Christmas inquiries! Also – if you need extra volunteers for this time, do let us know.

New Food Bank in New Cross

St James Hatcham Foodbank open on Wednesdays from 11am - 1pm.


The St James Church New Cross Gate Foodbank is not just a local initiative; it's a testament to community resilience and compassion. The project provides a lifeline in the form of nutritionally balanced emergency food packages, sufficient to sustain individuals and families for a week. We provide non-perishable food and toiletries - anyone is welcome at our foodbank. 

St James Church actively engages with local businesses and supermarkets to ensure a diverse array of fresh, canned, and non-perishable items are included in their food packages. The emphasis is not solely on providing sustenance but also on creating a safe space where individuals in need feel comfortable seeking support. 


Location and contact:  

St James Church Hall 

St James’s  

New Cross Gate  

SE14 6AD 

Mob: 07939812253 

Advice on Issuing Food Vouchers from AFRIL Helping Hands Food Bank - a money first approach

In November’s monthly food groups Zoom meeting, Helen from AFRIL shared their story and tips on transitioning from a food bank to giving food vouchers. You can see her presentation here.


Two Mindful Bees Summer Series Session

Thahn from Two Mindful Bees reports back from their September event: 


'Two Mindful Bees, as part of Lewisham Local's summer series, organised a sustainable homegrown event that brought together the Vietnamese and diverse local communities in and around Deptford. 

The day was exhilarating as attendees rekindled old friendships they hadn't seen for a long time and forged new connections while gaining knowledge about foraging, sprout cultivation, and microgreens. 

They savoured the freshness of sprout salads and tried their hands at potting herbs.  

To top it all off, they indulged in a delightful VFP (Vietnamese Family Partnership) lunch featuring a scrumptious and nutritious noodle salad.'


Report back from Autumn Lewisham Growing Network Gathering 28th October

We had a lovely day discussing ideas for the network, food provided by the local Tenants Residents Assocation, planting activities with residents designing the beds and children's activities all at Bridgehouse Gardens. Let us know if you’d like to be added to the food growing WhatsApp group. More exciting events happening soon (see events section).

RHS Gardens of Imagination Initial Meeting


and would like to be kept in the loop, do let us know. The programme will be planned soon for early in 2024. 

Three Capital Growth Growing for Change Trainings & Resources

GFL recently attended two in person Growing for Change Capital Growth (CG) training sessions, one on compost and one on bioblitzes and measuring biodiversity and types of habitat in community gardens. Here are some resources. These were held at Glengall Wharf Community Garden just in to Southwark and Brondesbury Park Energy Garden. 


Is anyone here involved in any of the three Energy Gardens in Lewisham? Brockley, Forest Hill or Honor Oak? We’d like to link up more with them. 


Let us know if you’d like to know more about these topics. We can host an online session as part of Lewisham Growing Network. 


Biodiversity resources: 

You can see the workshop handout here. 

·       Natural England Biodiversity Metric 4.0 -- All Documents:  

·       UKHab: (You’ll need to register for free to be able to download the document) 


CG’s designations session on Protecting Food Growing Sites was very useful – it was about different legal protections for community gardens and green spaces and how to go about securing those in advance, before developers make an application for the land, by which time it may be too late anyway. They’ve recently brought out two useful guides – one on protecting spaces in advance and one about saving them once they’re under threat. The recording will be available soon so I’ll share. 


Greener & Cleaner Christmas Market Bromley Sat 18th and Sun 19th November

Already preparing for Christmas? Check out the Greener and Cleaner option at Bromley market.

Lewisham Growing Network Essential Oils Workshop 26th November (11 – 3.30pm)

Join Essential Oils workshop. More info and to book.  

Good Food Lewisham monthly food giving groups meeting (1-2pm) 30th November

This session will focus on Healthy Start and look at Christmas provision and Warm Welcomes too. (Please note the dates for the next 3 have recently changed).

Sydenham Winter Fayre 2nd December

Lewisham Growing Network Forest Gardening Course Sat 2nd and Sun 3rd December

Two Day Forest Gardening Course Sat 2nd and Sun 3rd December at Bridgehouse Gardens. Please get in touch if you’d like to attend but can’t afford to pay this amount. 


Reinvigorating System Wide Action for Healthy Weight in Lewisham 7th and 11th December

Please join us at two events aimed at reinvigorating system wide action for healthy weight across Lewisham. 

By Lewisham Public Health. Dates: 7th and 11th December: 

Lewisham Business Networking Festive Event 7th December

Join Lewisham Council's Business Team and other businesses for some festive business networking. Find out about current business support in Lewisham and meet other businesses at this free, informal networking event. 

St Mary's Therapeutic Garden Christmas Fayre 9th December

Cultural Market 16th December

Forster Memorial Park Festive Market 17th December 


Their first ever Christmas market with many local traders and food. 

The community sensory garden group will be on the Friends of Forster Memorial Park Stall. Eco garden gifts including: sunflower seeds, natural handmade beeswax candles by a local bee keeper and Catford honey. 

They're seeking stewards to help before, during and after the market. Volunteers will get hot drinks and a dinner if on site for over 4 hours. Discuss with the cafe - email

Discover Christmas in Lewisham: a list of upcoming Christmas markets, lights, businesses and restaurants collated by Lewisham Council: Lewisham Council - Discover Lewisham


Plateful Cafe Community Cafe

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

We have been warmly welcomed to the venue by residents and customers in general and slowly we are establishing a presence in the area. We are a charity working with refugees and asylum-seekers empowering them to obtain employment in the hospitality industry by offering practical training in the café and paid jobs as cooks on London Living Wage. We currently have 7 female cooks from Syria and Iran and our first three months menu features traditional dishes from Syria such as chicken Shawarma and Syrian mezze platter. For breakfast we have been offering full English Breakfast and Shashouka eggs and also offer hot and cold drinks. Local builders are our main customers mainly in for breakfast. We are adapting and changing our menu regularly following customers’ feedback and we held a sold out Iranian dinner on the 27th of October. We also run a shop at the café offering a range of products made by refugees including jams, condiments, cards, drawing and bespoke merchandise. 

We’ve launched our Christmas products in November. See the photo of our products. 

Lewisham Business Awards

Read a blog post about good food winners of Lewisham business Awards.

Meet lovely project/social supermarket Feed the Hill

Feed the Hill combats food scarcity in Telegraph Hill and surrounding regions by providing food deliveries to individuals unable to leave their homes and operating a community grocery store every Wednesday at 367 New Cross Road.

Peckham Pantry

Have you heard about Peckham Pantry? A membership scheme that will make your money go further. Peckham Pantry offers an economical membership plan, stretching your budget effectively. For a fee of £4.50 per shopping, members gain access to fresh produce and pantry staples worth £15 or more. Plus, a loyalty scheme grants a free 9th shopping after 8 paid visits – just ensure you have your membership card with you as stamps are non-transferable. Make the most of your membership!

Boost Your Business: Securing Local Media Coverage Training

Better Food Traders is a support network for ethical food traders who are working to change the food system by selling locally-grown, climate- and nature-friendly produce. We offer training, advice clinics, peer-learning and loads of great resources to our members, and we're now opening up some of our online training sessions to non-members, woop!  


The first one is in December and will be useful for all sorts of local food organisations and enterprises, so do join us. 

If you have any questions, please drop me or Nicki ( an email. 


London Living Wage Week

Read our blog post about recent London Living vage event:


November is Cook and Share Month

Celebrate the joy of cooking and sharing with autumnal campaign, Cook and Share, running from October 30th to November 24th. Dive into a feast of connection, conversation, and delicious meals. Register now to access free downloadable resources and activity packs suitable for all, whether you're maximizing Plant and Share harvests, tackling leftover Halloween pumpkins, or seeking budget-friendly autumn recipes. Explore themed weeks like Cooking for People, Cooking for Pleasure, Cooking for the Planet, and Cooking for the Pocket, each offering inspiration and tried-and-tested recipes. Join us in making this autumn memorable through the art of cooking and sharing! 


Say Yes to School Food for ALL

The deadline to add your name in support of the Say Yes to School Food For All Campaign to change school food policy is November 17th: School Food For All | Sustain (

World Soil Day is on 5th December

Let's not forget that December 5th is World Soil Day. Let’s remember the critical role soil plays in food production and think about how we can better protect and nurture this precious resource.


Explore Volunteer Opportunities with Lewisham Food Projects 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 for Giving Tuesday (28th Nov) and 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 


Free support for food and drink businesses

ReLondon is a partnership of the Mayor of London and London’s boroughs to improve waste and resource management in the capital and accelerate our transition to a low carbon circular city. Their mission is to make London a global leader in sustainable ways to live, work and prosper by revolutionising our relationship with stuff and helping London waste less and reuse, repair, share and recycle more. Check their website and book a free workshop!

Citizens Advice Lewisham Training

Advice First Aid Course Two Day Course 20th and 21st November, sign up here.

Mental Health First Aid training 

One day course, Tuesday 21st November, £60, Downham. Trains you as a Mental Health First Aid Champion giving you:  


- An understanding of common mental health issues  

- Knowledge and confidence to advocate for mental health awareness  

- Ability to spot signs of mental ill health  

- Skills to support positive wellbeing     


·         St Mark's Church Hall, Baudwin Road, SE6 1RN  

·         9.15am-5pm.  

·         Cost: £60, including lunch (please state dietary requirements when booking)  

·         Car parking 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.  


To book please email

Free Low Energy Low Cost Meals Cookery Course

Adult Education Lewisham is offering a free taster for people on low-incomes accessing food banks/social supermarkets for anyone who wishes to expand their knowledge in this area. Following this, a 5-week session course will be offered for only £5 per person.  


The taster session will provide: ‘Top tips on creating low energy low-cost meals for you and your family at home. A great opportunity to learn some basic cookery skills, get advice on the best way to use your own appliances more cost effectively and join like-minded people whilst cooking yourself a light afternoon snack with the support of our Chef.’  


Available slots are 12.30-2.30pm Fridays at Granville Park Site. For more detailed information and to express an interest, please contact Maria Turner on

New Community Orcharding Course in Jan

Amazing course from The Orchard Project:

New report: International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems Report

IPES-Food urges governments to stop neglecting food systems in their climate pledges (NDCs) and to pay attention to the pioneering emissions-slashing efforts of cities and regions.  


'From Plate to Planet' shows how local governments are pioneering policies on food and climate change through dozens of inspiring examples on the ground, including promoting healthy and sustainable diets, reducing food waste, shortening food chains, training organic farmers, and ensuring all residents can access healthy and sustainable food. Examples are drawn from signatories of the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration

Join a free Biodynamic Gardening Club

If you have a fascination with Biodynamic Growing, you can become a part of a free online Biodynamic Gardening Club that serves as an active and mutually supportive community for individuals intrigued by the biodynamic philosophy and techniques.


Join Friday Fundraising Club on 24th November and every Friday

Community champions collaborating to grow their fundraising skills.

Clarion Futures Grant

Funding Opportunity – Clarion Futures Community Green Grants Programme (£7.5k) 


A new funding programme which is available to support projects making positive change related to the environment. Applications open until 12 Midday Wednesday 6th December. 


Grants of between £1,000 and £7,500 are available to support identified project and running costs of organisations working for the benefit of Clarion residents and communities. We are particularly interested in projects focused around: 


• Greening, growing or rewilding  

• Education or awareness raising around climate issues  

• Upcycling, recycling and reducing waste  

• Pollination and improving biodiversity 

• Encouraging outdoor education and natural play  

Important Note: All grant requests can include up to 10% overhead costs to support the management of the service/activity delivery and contribute towards general organisational overheads. 


How to apply: 

1. Applications must be submitted via the Clarion Futures online grants portal (Flexi-Grant) 

2. Applicants are required to register on the system before starting an application form here   

3. Please email if you have any queries accessing the form. 

4. Applications must be submitted by 12 noon, Wednesday 06 December 2023. 

Funding for Community & Environmental Projects (London)

Charities and voluntary organisations dedicated to enhancing the well-being of communities and the environment in London could seek grants, with funding reaching up to £20,000 per year for a maximum of five years. This financial support is open to various activities, such as environmental initiatives, green projects, engagement with older individuals, assistance for Deaf and Disabled communities, involvement with the LGBTQIA+ community, and support for migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.

Applications are accepted throughout the year, allowing organizations to apply at their convenience.

Grants for the Planting and Care of Trees, Hedges & Orchards

Through the Fund, schools, community groups, parish and town councils, and tree warden networks within the UK will be able to apply for grants of between £250 and £2,500 to get communities and young people up to the age of 21 involved in planting and caring for trees, hedges and orchards. Deadline 3rd December. 

Groundwork Our Space Award

This round will fund projects that must be completed by 10 February 2025. The deadline for applications is midday on Monday 11 December 2023. Three tiers of grants going from £500 to £20,000.  

Community Action Fund

FCC Community Action Fund provides grants of between £2,000 and £100,000 to not-for-profit organisations for amenity projects eligible under Object D and Object DA of the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF).

Lewisham Community Energy Fund Offers Financial Support for Energy Savings

(Deadline is 18th December)

If you're a member of a local community organization and wish to reduce your energy expenses or assist others in doing so, you could seek financial support via the Lewisham Community Energy Fund.


Require assistance with the cost of living? Discover in-person support options throughout the borough.

Drop-in sessions to help with: 

Accessing free or low-cost food; 

Help with your bills; 

Jobs and training, 

Help if you have children; 

Staying warm; 

Advice for staying well and healthy. 

Community Connections Lewisham has a drop in energy cafe (10.30-12.30pm) 23rd November

Join Community Connections for a cuppa at a free drop-in energy cafe, where they provide free, expert, independent, one-to-one energy advice. They can help with:

- Advice with bills (please bring it with you)

- Contacting energy companies on your behalf

- Support and guidance for grants and discounts

- Home visits are available for extra support if needed

No need to book in, just drop by.

Catford Salvation Army offering warm welcome

Catford Salvation offers warm and welcoming spaces for those in need every Monday from 10 am to 3 pm.

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 donations please visit  


Or send us an email 

Nutrition Advice from new GFL Steering Group Member: Jo Travers

The London Nutritionist our new Good Food Lewisham Steering Group member. Jo is a registered dietician and helps with evidenced based nutrition. 


At our last Good Food Lewisham network meeting sugar was a hot topic for discussion.

Lewisham was discussed and people were keen to find out the differences between real/natural sugar versus artificial sweeteners. Jo has kindly put together a sugar fact sheet together to clear up some of those sugar myths and questions. 


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