Last night, Thursday 30th June, the Trust held its fourth annual Growing Localities Awards at the Horniman Museum. These awards, run by Lemos&Crane, celebrate excellence in using nature to enhance local communities and the lives of vulnerable and socially excluded people in London.
Entries were received from all over the Capital and for a range of projects, including beekeeping, foraging, food growing and making natural cosmetics. The projects, run by organisations as diverse as schools, prisons, NHS trusts, homelessness charities and city farms, encouraged a sense of community, increased volunteering, raised awareness of issues and provided training or employment.
From 60 entries, 12 projects were shortlisted. Three of these were Highly Commended, and these were:
- Northbury Primary School for Growing with our pupils project
- Uniting Friends for Sprout There!
- Providence Row for their garden project
Each of these groups received a prize of £500.
Next came our two Runners-Up who each received a prize of £1,000. These were:
- Spare Tyre for The Garden, a multi-sensory interactive performance for people with dementia
- Company Drinks for Urban Picking, which makes use of local resources through fruit picking projects which are then uses to produce healthy seasonal drinks
Finally, the winner of Growing Localities 2016 and £2,000 were SLAM (South London & Maudsley) NHS trust for their PTSD horticultural group at Vauxhall City Farm. This project works with refugees & asylum seekers who have suffered trauma resulting in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Providing a safe, welcoming environment helps users to recover and also leads to new friendships.
In addition to the cash prizes, each winner was presented with several sets of gardening gloves, kindly donated by the Worshipful Company of Glovers. The Master Glover, Michael Orr, was on hand to help present the prizes, along our Chairman Alderman Alison Gowman, herself a former Master of the Glovers Company.
Many thanks to all of our entrants and special congratulations to our winners.
An edition of our publication The Knowledge looking at the 2016 Growing Localities awards can now be found here.