top of page

September 2023 GFL Newsletter: What’s Lewisham Harvesting? Fruit, veg and a whole lot more!

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

Coco Collective Garden

We hope everyone’s been enjoying the September sun. The Good Food Lewisham team is back from the summer holidays and now getting stuck in to harvesting and other events.

Quarterly GFL Network Meeting This Week!

Join us for Good Food Lewisham’s quarterly network meeting on Thursday 21st September. Free vegetarian community meal (1-2pm), meeting (2-3.30pm) at Pepys Community Hub, followed by a tour of Deptford community gardens and walk between them starting at John Evelyn Community Garden (4 – 4.30pm), ending at The Albany garden (5.30/6pm). Join for some or all of the day. Hear about GFL's projects, how you can get involved, making good food pledges, suggest ideas for what the network can work, find out about Lewisham Growing Network & community gardens. Anyone is welcome to attend, but please see the Eventbrite for accessibility information for the venue and walk. Sign up on Eventbrite. Contact

Getting Allotment Food to Food Giving Groups

If you’re an allotment or food growing project in the borough and think you may have surplus produce that you could give to food giving projects and would like help to do that, please fill in this very short survey:

Lewisham Homes and GFL are working on this area, including looking at encouraging/organising people to ethically forage from public fruit trees etc. too, as a lot just falls on the pavement. If there’s enough interest, we’ll organise an online session on getting this up and running.

World Food Day – 16th October

Is anyone planning activities around this date? Foraging? Harvest? Community meal? Please let us know! Information on this global day of action:


Updated Free & Cheap Food List

This was updated in August. You can find it in GFL's resources section:

As ever, please let us know if your details need adding, taking off or changing.

Like last year, we’ll be creating a special list for Winter/Christmas provision so please let us know as soon as you have plans for provision for this period and we’ll add it to this resource.

Free School Meals

If you haven’t already, do sign up for free school meals in Lewisham. If you get certain welfare benefits, you can apply for free school meals for your child.

You could save up to £500 a year if your child gets free school meals and it will mean they get a healthy school lunch every day. All children in primary school, from reception to Year 6, are entitled to free school meals.

If you’re a project that comes in to contact with struggling families, encourage them to get benefits advice, as they may be entitled to Healthy Start.

New support for the implementation of the Lewisham Food Justice Action Plan

A new Food Justice Programme Manager will start in post this month. This is a joint role between Lewisham Council and Lewisham Local which will build on Lewisham Local’s existing work of Community Food Justice Grants and the Good Food Lewisham programme.

Simone Riddle is the new Food Justice Programme Manager and over the next 18 months she will co-ordinate activity across Lewisham to implement action across the four overarching priorities within the Food Justice Action Plan and help to establish the Lewisham Food Justice Alliance. This group will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the plan, co-ordinating actions, identifying opportunities for collaboration, avoiding duplication and seeking solutions to any challenges. The Alliance will also identify ways in which the overall impact of action on Food Justice in Lewisham can be measured.

A copy of the FJAP is available here website: Lewisham Council - Food justice action plan

If you have an interest in Lewisham’s Food Justice Action Plan and would like to stay connected, please email

There will be a meeting about how to get involved with the Food Justice Action Alliance during London Challenge Poverty Week, Thursday 19th of October 12-2pm (venue TBC) which will be an opportunity to get involved with the Alliance and support the delivery of the action plan. Save the Date!

Monthly Food Network Zoom: Baby Formula Pathways

The next Food Giving Network meeting is Thursday 5th of October 1pm on Zoom. You can sign up to the monthly sessions on our Eventbrite page:

Last month, we had a useful session about the forthcoming emergency infant formula milk pathway for Lewisham families with children aged 0-12months. If you are a project working directly with families who may require infant formula milk in an emergency, please refer the family to the Lewisham Health Visiting Service by contacting Lakhvinder in Public Health on

Once the pathway’s more established, we can share more information.

Update from Lewisham Food Bank

Summer Holiday Free Fruit and Veg

Twelve pallets for market fresh fruit and veg distributed to 8 community food projects across the borough, which is approximately 6 tonnes of extra food. Set up by Good Food Lewisham, Lewisham Local, Hexagon housing and The Felix Project. Together we helped to get nutritious fruit and veg to families that are struggling during the sometimes-challenging holidays. This is known as holiday hunger. Thank you to all that helped and a big shout out to the Evelyn Store for being ‘the Host’s with the most’ for allowing the store to become the summer hub.

Summer Fresh Food at Evelyn Community Centre Deptford

Legendary Community Club HAF Programme Update


Summer Food Growing & Foraging & Cooking Activities Update

At the start of the summer, LL funded six projects to carry out activities, some were open to all and some were for specific groups of people. There are some yet to happen, the next one is on Thursday at Evelyn Community Centre (see below).

Lewisham Growing Network

Are you part of a community garden? Are you connected to Lewisham’s Growing Network? After the Deptford Gardens walk, we’re planning a Halloween event for late October (see below), as well as some online sessions on allotments and growing to give (see above), seed swapping (see below) and training on Capital Growth’s Growing for Change toolkit for gardens to measure their climate impact:

If you have ideas for online or in person sessions and would like to host or offer something, please let us know.

Capital Growth Urban Harvest around London happening now

Loads of exciting events around London, see their map:

Coco Collective: Regular Gardening Sessions at Two Gardens + Looking for Volunteers + Management Committee Members

We are open Wednesdays and Sundays 10am- 3pm at Bellingham and people can sign up to join here:

The Catford youth-led site is open Sundays 10am- 3pm and registration is here:

They are currently looking for more volunteers and for management committee members – more info on the latter coming soon.


Fancy enjoying this fine weather in an intimate outdoor space?

We have a number of volunteer roles available at our Ital Community Gardens

At our Bellingham site we're preparing a new area for wildflower seeds sowing, rejigging our composting area and relocating beds- this all involves weeding and heavy duty roles of turning of soil, wheelbarrowing, digging and building new growing frames from upcycled palettes. Lighter duty roles involve watering and seed collecting and harvesting. All volunteers will have access to harvests.

Opens every Wednesday and Sunday 10am- 3pm (with the sign up links above)

Our Catford site is for younger residents (under 30's) where we welcome new volunteers for watering, weeding, harvesting and joining in conversations on re-creating the world we live in

Opens every Sunday 10am -3pm (with the sign up links above).

They have let us know about an interesting initiative in Lambeth and Southwark: the Black Food Fund -

People in action at a Coco collective garden

Save Your Seeds!

Now is the time to extract and save your seeds for the following year. We will have a demonstration at the upcoming network meeting on 21st to swap seeds and, if interest, could look at organising a seed swap in the New Year.

New After School Gardening Club at St Winifred’s School

We’ve been staying in touch with the hosts of our last network meeting. Great to hear that they’re likely to get a new gardening club going by the end of September. It'll be open to ten children from across key stage 2. The club will cover areas like raising crops from seed, growing on, care and maintenance, cropping and seasonal cooking. During the winter months we will focus on composting and soil improvement, tool maintenance, building window boxes and raised beds.


Vietnamese Foraging / Cooking event Thursday 21st (part of LL summer series)

Sign up here:

Hither Green Ward Assembly and Foraging Walk 23rd September

Sutton Community Farm Harvest Festival Saturday 23rd

Guardians of Grub Food Waste Workshop with Andrea from the GFL Steering Group Monday 25th September

Pop up Stall in Rushey Green / Catford 28th September

Helen (Food Partnership Coordinator) and Elisha (Rushey Green Community Development Worker at Lewisham Local) will be running a pop upstall in Catford (on Catford Broadway by Costa Coffee) on Thursday 28th September 11am – 3pm talking with people about good food and other local interests and giving out information. If you live or work in the area, come and say hi!

Open Day at Catford Soup Kitchen

Good Food Business Network Meeting 3rd October

Join us at Badger Badger!

Community Connections organising two meetings

Want to meet other people running community groups and activities locally?

You’re invited to an in-person networking meeting with other groups in the south of Lewisham. This is for group leaders, trustees and key volunteers, particularly of smaller groups.

Thursday 5th October, 10-11.30am, with mingling till noon

Jubilee Room, St Laurence Centre, 37 Bromley Road, SE6 2TS


Book free ticket:

St Laurence Church & Centre: Harvest Festival 7th October

Lewisham Growing Network Halloween Event

On Saturday 28th October, we’ll be holding an event at Bridgehouse Gardens, doing some winter planting etc. More details TBC.

RHS Lewisham Hospital Wellbeing Garden Volunteer Tuesdays & Mushroom Workshops

Weekly Drop In Gardening Club At Lewisham Hospital

Location: Lewisham Hospital Wellbeing Garden, Lewisham High St, London SE13 6LH

The gardening club meet every Tuesday 10:30am - 2.30 / 3pm. You don’t have to be available for the whole time or every week, but we always have a tea and chat break at 11:30am.

The main aim for the gardening club is to maintain the new hospital garden.

You don’t need any prior experience, as I will be there to help develop your gardening and growing skills. Each week we will learn a new skill. You can have a look at some things we get up to on Instagram: @lgtgardeningclub

Things we do in the garden include:

• Bulb planting

• Bedding planting

• How to prune and pruning

• Propagation

• Seed sowing and harvesting

• Weeding

• Bug hotel making

• Skill sharing

• Community events

Tools, gloves, refreshments are provided. You can find out more about the garden here:

Mushroom Workshops:

Online (zoom) 29th October 7 - 8.30pm: Fungi workshop coming up which will be run by Adi from Urban Mushrooms. Adi will explore the world of fungi. If you would like to join, email Alice:

Adi will also be coming to the UHL Garden on the 31st October to run a workshop of cultivating a wine cap bed. If you are interested in joining, email Alice.

Roundtable Update + Income Mapping

We will be organising one of these further down the line, rather than in early October as we suggested, partly as there are just so many events at the moment! In the mean time, please fill in this income mapping survey:

We’ll use this to plan a practical fundraising session with cade studies and real info, as this was requested in the last roundtable. As always, let us know if you have ideas for useful topics. Another one we’re thinking of is: how to create less waste by ordering food in bulk to then redistribute.

Happy Eaters Project at Stanstead Lodge: Ongoing

When: Mondays at 2:30 - 4 pm, in the cafe at Stanstead Lodge, 260 Stanstead Road. Bus routes 171 and 185. What it is: peer to peer support group for anyone needing to add joy to the plate of food they are eating. Anyone with health issues, and those trying to avoid health issues, is invited to join for support for whichever diet they need to follow for maintaining health. So often families think they know best and offer advice contrary to that given by health professionals or, at worst, the next to useless "eat less, exercise more" mantra cited by those who have no understanding of what influences our food choices. Where possible support offered will centre around the NHS EatWell Guide and the BHF food recommendations for hearth health. What it is not: it does not give nutrition or diet advice, it is not a weight loss programme, it is not there to judge one food choice as better than another as everyone has different cultural backgrounds and medical needs.

Contact Barbara on:


The Albany

We love the Albany’s Pay it forward board. A great way to spread the love and buy a coffee for someone that may be struggling. The café is also boasting a bumper harvest from its own garden which the café uses in its delicious dishes.

Ed the Baker

He's been winning awards and is now returning to Blackheath farmer’s market the third Sunday of every month.

New online platform for the click and collect or click and deliver:

Cre8 Coffee

Cre8 Coffee has been invited to Manchester Coffee festival this year to talk about my coffee journey, mental health, well-being, retention of women trained staff, how to connect with young people to advise about jobs and career paths with in the coffee industry. The next round of training for the NCIL ward funding will start shortly. Free barista training for 15-25 year olds. But we have room for others or will sign post to other training opportunities. If you need more info please leave a message on:

Vote in Lewisham’s Business Awards


Sourdough September / Real Bread Campaign / Dough Monsters

It’s Sourdough September! Local makers/sellers include: Ed the Baker, Farmers markets and Coopers Bake House. Check out Lewisham’s finest on the Real Bread Map:

Calendar of events (running well in to October):

Resources for baking with children:

Organic September

Loads of useful Soil Association resources on the importance of organic food and farming and where to buy it, including a map of independent retailers all around the UK:

Soil Association has initiated a new petition asking the government to take urgent action on fossil fuel-based fertilisers. It would be great if you could sign and share the petition if you haven’t already, one-line summaries for social media are “No net zero without fixing fertiliser” and “Organic is climate action” and the hashtag for the campaign is #FixFertiliser and #OrganicSeptember.

Black History Month coming up

October is Black History Month. There are events coming up in Lewisham:

Let us know if you know of any events coming up, especially around food, that you’d like us to publicise.


Survey on helping people with No Recourse to Public Funds

Sustain is calling all local food and health organisations and professionals to share your experiences supporting families on low incomes with no recourse to public funds to access healthy food, including the Healthy Start Scheme. Survey deadline 13 October.

RMUK Wellbeing Community Food Hub

Anyone looking to get involved with a food project? RMUK in Lee are looking for volunteers

Please see website there is a link for volunteering roles include:

- Help run community hub

- delivery driver

- befriending

- help with admin

- help running an activity or group


Lewisham Community Cookery Classes

There are some exciting cookery classes happening around the borough, including Kids Kitchen and an RMUK/Cummin Up collaboration at Orchard Community Centre (Clarion Housing, Columbine Way, Lewisham Road, SE13 7LQ). The last one has just finished and will be resuming soon.

Request: We’re putting together a list of cookery classes currently taking place in the borough. Please let us know if you’re involved in one or know about one, then we’ll put together a list. Email:

Capital Growth Food Growing Trainings Around London & Online

Events coming up include: Soil Health – for growing great veg and Autumn & Winter Plant Propagation.

Low Energy Cooking Course in Lewisham

Starts 31st October, enrol here:

Free Drug and Alcohol Awareness Training with CGL

Change Grow Live (CGL) cover basic drug and alcohol awareness, overdose awareness and naloxone training for community groups including food projects on Wednesdays at their offices at 410 Lewisham High Street between 11am-1pm on Wed 4th and 18th of October.

If you or your volunteers would like to join either of these sessions, please email to book your place by September 29th.

Good Conversations Training

Sustain Report on how to ‘Bridge the Gap'

Bridging the gap (so that food that is good for the planet is affordable for everyone) is a huge task with many routes to get there, from relatively quick wins to radical transformations. Read about the findings from the report here:

Independent Food Aid Network Report on Food Demand

New report from IFAN shows overburdened food bank teams fear a devastating winter as unprecedented demand soars through the summer: 992190_686303caa3094957891f5dfc258afdd7.pdf (

Building Local Food Systems Handbook

This handbook is designed to help you make change happen in your own community. From the politics of food, to setting up a buying co-op or seed swapping. There’s lots of practical actions to help build a better local food system:

Good Food Lewisham Toolkits

You can find more resources like this on our website: Toolkits | Good Food Lewisham


National Lottery Community Organisations Cost of Living Fund

This funding is for organisations that support people and communities in England under severe pressure because of the increased cost of living.

By community we mean people living in the same local area. Our main priority is to fund organisations supporting low-income households and individuals.

You can apply for between £10,000 and £75,000.

Deadline 16th October

Lewisham Fundraising Conference: 19th September

Meet funders, groups that can support you and other groups that you might want to share ideas with.

Loads more information, including timetable, here:

Friday Fundraising Club and other Fundraising Help

Check out the updated brochure with more information on topics for upcoming Friday Fundraising Clubs and some other new offers from the Fundraising Development Manager (Equalities):

Fundraising Plus: In Depth Help

The Fundraising Development Manager (Equalities) offers a programme of six 1-2-1 sessions tailored to the fundraising help your group needs over six months. Groups can then choose to have step down support of a further three 1-2-1 sessions over a further six months. Support is tailored to groups. Black and Disability groups are particularly encouraged to apply.

Full information here:

Contact Karen on

Workshop: How to Access Arts Council England Grants

Arts Fundraising Workshop on 11th October 9.30am-1pm. LEAN and the Albany Present: How to Access Arts Council England Grants Suitable for any level of experience in arts fundraising but particularly suited to those who are new to applying for funding or want to understand what’s changing in the application process


Creative Communities Working Space at The Albany

Looking for a creative space to work? Maybe you’re working from home and craving a change of scene; a freelancer looking for a place to meet; or a creative person who needs a space to move – whatever your situation, we’d like to help you foster connections, access opportunities and collaborate with our creative community.

Our Creative Communities Membership aims to provide access to low-cost spaces as and when you need them, without any commitment to high monthly fees. As part of this membership you can book our coworking space from as little as £5 per day, as well as access our lower cost ad-hoc meeting rooms & practice spaces, subsidised rehearsal space offer, online resource platform & peer-to-peer network, and 1:1 fundraising support offers.

Need something a bit more longer-term? We’ve got you covered! We have a number of private office spaces available at both the Albany and Deptford Lounge ranging in size from 14sqm to 41sqm.

Job going at Lewisham Local

Fundraising & Communications Coordinator, deadline 9th October, more info here:

Driver Job for for Beauty Banks Charity

Hygiene charity Beauty Banks ( ) are seeking a part time delivery driver for their new electric van, two days a week at £150 per day.

Sister Midnight Community Share Offer + Community Radio

Local community music venue project Sister Midnight have launched a community radio station:

They have an open share offer:

256 views0 comments


bottom of page