HUNDREDS of Lambeth residents will learn how to grow their own food, make friends and improve their health – thanks to new funding for a social action charity.
Almost a decade ago, Loughborough Junction Action Group – known locally as LJAG – began turning a patch of vacant open space between Brixton, Herne Hill and Camberwell into a thriving community farm.
Now, the charity has been awarded £84,500 by City Bridge Trust to help it bring more people to Loughborough Farm to learn how to grow, cook and eat their own food.
The grant will fund 100 growing sessions a year plus horticultural and healthy eating workshops and outreach sessions at local housing estates to encourage residents to grow food on their own balconies.
City Bridge Trust Chairman Giles Shilson said:
“Loughborough Farm is a great example of a community coming together to improve its environment and the lives of its residents.
“This funding will enable LJAG to help even more people experience the physical and mental benefits of being in nature, making friends and eating more healthily.”
Participants in sessions at the farm get to take home fruit and veg grown there, while surplus produce is used at the neighbouring Platform Café, a community café with an employability programme, run by the charity, which is also benefitting from the grant.
LJAG Chair Anthea Masey said:
“Our ethos is about providing a space in which people can spend time outdoors in nature, learn horticultural skills and about the food they’re eating.
“There’s a lot of evidence that being outside in nature, enjoying the company of a diverse group of people, and getting your hands dirty makes you feel better.
“Coming to the farm means people meet and make friends with people they probably wouldn’t otherwise meet.”
More information about Loughborough Junction Action Group and its farm is at: www.loughboroughjunction.org.
The City of London Corporation’s charity funder, City Bridge Trust, is London’s biggest independent grant giver. It awards grants of over £30 million a year to tackle disadvantages across the capital.
It has also made an extra £200 million available over five years from 2021 to 2026 to support London’s charity sector – www.citybridgetrust.org.uk.