The Winners!

17th May 2024

The Winners!

Earlier this year we launched our “Toast Food Sustainability Heroes Fund”. 

Quite a mouthful, but the idea was simple. To give much-kneaded funds to hard-working grassroots community groups. We wanted to donate cash directly to groups that were really raising the bar and doing their bit to help nature take over! 

All the (London-based) community groups had to do was complete a quick online application and let us know what they needed the funds for. We were overwhelmed by amazing applications via the ActionFunder platform and it was a tricky task to choose, but we sat down with a cold beer and carefully selected 5 worthy winners. 

Read on to learn more about each one and what they will be doing with the funds.

 

Forest Flora Path: Plot to Plate community garden

They aim to demonstrate a circular no-waste fresh food production model. Inspiring and equipping local adults and children to grow and cook a diverse range of fresh food. Their new “Plot To Plate” edible garden will be growing edible crops - with a proportion of the harvest donated to an onsite community fridge and the rest sold to their partner restaurant “The Lacy Nook”. 

The funding will be spent on a large capacity Hotbin composter - so they can compost their kitchen waste and use the compost they create to grow crops as well as giving it away to local gardeners. Also to go towards the creation of a pond (to support biodiversity) and rainwater harvesting tanks for irrigation.

 

Lower Green: Community Garden

They want to transform a tarmac area into a stunning community garden - in full view of the adjoining recreation ground and children’s playground - making it ideal for attracting people to join in and engage with the project. They believe gardening is a great way of bringing people of different ages, backgrounds and experiences together and provides an opportunity to forge relationships. Building a stronger, more connected community.

The funding will help transform a currently barren area, bringing it to life. With the money spent building an amazing community garden, including x10 large planters, screening hedges, bedding plants, small shrubs and seeds. 

 

The ClementJames Centre: Gardening workshops

They’re based in Kensington & Chelsea (RBKC), one of the most polarised local authorities in the country. With 76% of households suffering from at least one form of deprivation in health, housing, income or education. They believe their gardening programme has the power to bring the community together to connect, meet new people and learn about growing plants and healthy eating.

Engaging in gardening has been shown to promote social relationships, emotional and mental wellbeing and moderate stress, as well as reduce depression and anxiety. Their gardening programme centres around monthly gardening workshops - bringing people together through a shared interest in learning how to grow new plants, as well as having the opportunity to socialise and meet new people. As a result participants have reported an increase in their confidence, support networks and resilience.

The funding will pay for a big chunk of staffing costs to ensure the programme can keep going and help even more people. 

 

Cafe Van Gogh: Composting Project

They are a not-for-profit social enterprise - who consider all of their business decisions with their local community, environment, staff and customers - front of mind. 

They work in conjunction with Toucan Employment, a leading learning disability employment charity. And together run a programme of on-the-job training for people with additional challenges in life - such as learning disabilities or mental health problems. Providing them with the support and confidence to seek paid employment. 
They are a little bit obsessed with food waste (they hate it) but love composting! Currently they can only compost used coffee grounds and cardboard with their limited facilities. 

The funding will pay for a professional hand-cranked compost system to process the cafe’s food waste (saving £300/month for waste disposal). So they can recycle all the cafe’s food waste and use it to nourish their garden.

 

Calthorpe Community Garden: Sprouting Good Health - windowsill micro herbs & veg

They’ve been delivering gardening sessions to local residents for nearly 40 years. Very few people have their own private gardens in Kings Cross (their local area), and they provide communal food growing spaces and mini-allotments. They also teach organic growing methods and have composting facilities for garden waste. 

They will use the funding to run workshops - teaching local people to grow a variety of micro vegetables such as peas, broccoli, coriander and sunflowers. Supplying all the tools - cardboard trays, soil and seeds as well as recipes to inspire! When all the seeds are harvested, the waste material can be brought back to their garden to be composted.

 

Huge thanks to everyone who nominated a community group or put in an application. Here’s to all the worthy winners. And keep an eye on our social media channels for more information on the projects as we visit them all and raise a Toast in person. Cheers! 

#NaturesTakingOver