We have teamed up with GROW to support a number of upcoming projects, designed to teach young people and their families about where their food comes from and the importance of looking after themselves and their planet.
What is GROW
Founded by George Lamb, GROW is a non-profit organisation that works in schools and communities to promote mental wellbeing, physical health, and a more hands-on relationship with the natural world. They believe in making good health a priority and easy for young people to access and learn about.
GROW delivers curriculum, extra-curricular, and outreach-based programmes centred around 4 key pillars:
GROUND: Food and Farming
THINK: Philosophical Thinking
FLOW: Yoga and Mindfulness
THRIVE: Extra-curricular (Boxing, Forest School, YouTube club, and more!)
Since setting up their pilot scheme at The Totteridge Academy in May 2019, GROW has built a community farm, started a Forest School, a free school meal holiday programme, and have rolled out a unique curriculum to 300 students per week as part of their school timetable.
Their 360° educational programme offers young people the skills, knowledge, and confidence to go beyond their day-to-day routines, realise their full potential, and make positive changes in the world.
GROW’s mission is to build a replicable model that tackles the root causes of these three critical and intrinsically connected issues within schools and communities: with education, empowerment, and access at its core. Every young person, no matter their background, should be able to access and benefit from programmes like GROW.
These projects are just some of the many they have lined up and we are thrilled to be a part of them:
Mushrooms are one of the most sustainable foods that can be grown; they can be grown in waste material and can improve the nutrients of the soil. With the hope to offer vulnerable young people the opportunity to learn about how to grow this sustainable and nutritious food, GROW will be developing and launching the country's ﬁrst AQA Accredited Mushroom Growing course with leading Mycologist, Darren Springer.
This programme aims to give vulnerable young people, aged 14-15 years old, tools to develop valuable life skills and the option of a viable career in Mycology and Mushroom Cultivation. On the GROW Farm and as part of the courses, they will grow edible and medicinal mushrooms to sell to local restaurants, Cinnamon Club/South Asian eateries supplied by Iqbal Wahhab OBE, and at the GROW Farmer’s Market stall. This project will allow the opportunity to learn about nurturing a healthy relationship around good eating whilst building valuable life skills and entrepreneurial skills.
Through completing this course, the participants will leave with a qualiﬁcation and give them the conﬁdence they need to explore alternative careers or further education options that they may not have ordinarily been introduced to. Participants will be sign posted to further training options in Mycology or Food Growing, both within GROW and partner organisations.
Let's get GROWing
This project will see the development of an extra-curricular after school club for young people to learn skills and knowledge in food growing & farming and wellbeing. Taking place on the GROW farm, activities will include seed sowing, composting, and chicken care as well as mindful breathing and nature observations, giving the participants a deep understanding of food and farming life cycles and activities.
Spending time outdoors and in nature has hugely positive beneﬁts to our mental health and wellbeing. Furthermore, learning about where food comes from and how to grow it can empower the younger generation to make positive lifestyle and environmental choices when it comes to eating. GROW’s mission is to give young people, who would not ordinarily have access to outdoor learning activities or well-being activities, the opportunity to form new habits, build their conﬁdence, and learn valuable new skills that can positively impact their future.
Eat the rainbow
In collaboration with the Rainbow Centre, a local youth centre on the estate next to the farm, an after-school club will take place for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to learn how to grow their own food.
Access to healthy food and healthy life choices is signiﬁcantly impacted by poverty. The Dollis Valley Estate where the Youth Centre is located, is in an area classiﬁed as a ‘food desert’ - this is an urban area where it is diﬃcult to buy affordable or good quality food. The ambition is to make the GROW Farm a useful local asset for these children so they can learn about healthy food choices, access good quality food, and engage with the natural world.
At the start of the project, the hope is to build approximately 10 new raised beds on the farm. GROW will host weekly sessions on a Friday afternoon where participants will learn skills in food production and gardening. Once the produce has grown, they will have the chance to sell their produce at the weekly farmer’s market stall and make money from their crops; learning valuable business and entrepreneurial skills.
Learn more about GROW's curriculum, the GROW farm, and their journey to date at wearegrow.org
Follow their journey over on their socials: