What we are going to do with £3,200:
We are going to build a community greenhouse, and in the process will be delivering free qualifications in construction to young people from deprived areas of south London. Once the greenhouse is built, it will be used to offer further qualifications in Horticulture, for free, to those who are not in education, training or employment, particularly young people.
Who is asking for this money?
Three organisations are coming together to make this a reality:
New Leaf Educational Gardens connects urban communities with nature across south London, and are specialists in working with hard-to-reach youth, giving them skills and training to support their transition into the workplace.
Time & Talents is a 125 year old charity, serving the communities of Rotherhithe and Bermondsey, where it hosts hundreds of people a week across all ages and abilities.
Construction Youth Trust train young people in building and construction skills, getting them the qualifications that appeal to employers in the trade, and they also specialise in working with vulnerable young people.
You can see more about all three of us on these websites:
The Bigger Picture:
Together, we are aiming to create the Grow Local Network Southwark, a collection of small urban food and biodiversity-supporting gardens, created on what was once neglected and underused land. In the process we will be delivering formal educational outcomes to residents, making them more confident, employable and better connected to their environment.
This greenhouse will be a key educational resource in that project, where we can teach specialist skills and conduct experiments in a controlled setting. It will also allow us to extend the growing season by several months, giving us bigger, better, healthier produce that can feed local people, beautify their homes and workplaces, and be a source of revenue for social entrepreneurs who can start small businesses with us.
How we will spend this money:
Here's the rough breakdown of costs for this project:
- £600: self assembly greenhouse measuring 12x6ft, with poloycarbonate glazing
- £100: Guttering and two waterbutts to harvest rainwater
- £25: Shading to keep the temperature down on very hot days
- £100: Automatic irrigation system to cover the whole internal area
- £65: Heating cables and thermostat to improve germination on one side of shelves
- £60: Gloves, trowels, hand forks, labels, buckets
- £100: Growing media: compost, vermiculite, perlite, horticultural sand
- £50: Seeds to sow in spring!
- That makes about £1,100 for the greenhouse itself and a good bunch of kit to get started with...
- Then we've set aside £300 to cover the food and travel of our young participants; it's £5 per person per day over six days, for five young people.
- £1,600: to pay for Construction Youth Trust materials and time. They are going to be providing wood to build internal shelves and containers which, along with the assembly of the flat pack structure, will be the learning activities for the qualifications the young people gain; this price also reflects the staff time involved on site, in preparation and afterwards, when the paperwork assessment has to be done.
- And there's a further £200 to cover the transaction fees of Crowdfunder and GoCardless, and to cover some of the costs of rewards.
If we get more than we are asking for...
We will be able to pimp our greenhouse! The budget we have worked out is for the basics that we need to deliver effective horticultural training. If we get more than £3,200, we will be able to buy more specialist equipment, seeds, plants, growing media and so forth.