We build gardens in GP surgeries. Patients - especially people with long term health conditions - learn how to grow food in a safe and secure environment.
Groups are led by nurses who are trained and experienced master gardeners and are open to everyone who wishes to learn how to grow food or who supports our aims and objectives.
We began building the Lambeth GP Food Co-op in the Spring of 2013, supported by the NHS and our local council. We are one of the first community led co-operatives working in and for the NHS, and in 2013, we were awarded the Best Sustainable Food Initiative in the NHS by Public Health England and the NHS Sustainability Unit.
We need to transform ourselves from being dependent solely on grants, to a social enterprise with a mix of funding.
We need £45,000 from this community share issue. That guarantees to keep us going for at least one more year if nothing else happened.
But we’re confident we can develop our work to become sustainable in that time and so we’ll be able to operate for far longer than that 12 months.
We’ll be looking to get new grants, new and more contracts from GP surgeries, fees for consultancy in heling others replicate what we’ve achieved and eventually, income through the sale of the food we’ve helped grow.
With continued (and increased) funding we aim to:
- The Lambeth GP Food Co-op empowers patients to become skilled food growers.
- To build a new social business which sells locally grown produce through procurement to the NHS.
- Empowers patients to produce food for sale to NHS and other public sector partners.
- To develop, support and encourage co-operative processes, relationships and activities which contribute to a new model of community general practice and primary care within the context of Lambeth as a co-operative borough.
- Contribute to local food initiatives across the borough including the Flagship Food Borough, food equity for all allied to local, regional and national activities to improve health and wellbeing.
- To create a community of co-operators who through their association contribute to the improving the economic wellbeing of all.
There’s more detail on all of this in our vision document, which you can download below. That has more about what we’ve been doing these last three years, what we plan to do, and who’s on our board, and a breakdown of our annual expenditure we’re looking to support.
What you get as an investor
In addition to helping us keep helping the patients we work with, you get to become an owner of the co-op with the other investors and members. You’ll get to vote for our board and can help set our strategy. Members’ rights are set out in our rules, which you can download below.
And, whilst we’ll always be focussed on developing ourselves into a sustainable business, the more successful we are, the more we will be able to consider paying interest on investment and also enabling investors to get their money back. That’s all contingent on whether or not we’re successful in first becoming sustainable, and then whether we can develop a surplus, and right now, our focus is the first of those.
We’ve been given Advance Assurance from HMRC that eligible investors who pay income tax in the UK will be able to reclaim 30% of whatever they invest against their tax liability, so if you invested £500, you’d be able to lower your tax due by £150.