A group of 100 vulnerable and marginalised women in Poplar, Stepney and Limehouse will work alongside professional volunteers to create edible urban gardens in unexpected spaces. The gardens created will be a local seasonal food source and teaching resource, improving health and well-being in the borough of Tower Hamlets and improving shared community spaces for all local residents. English and Maths skills will be embedded in all activities by adult education tutors teaching valuable functional skills that will transform the lives of vulnerable women long beyond the duration of our project. A small scale pilot gardening project last year was commissioned and funded by the TH public health team and they support this new community-led development of the project this year. A successful crowdfunding campaign will not only enable us to impact many more women, but will make Poplar, Stepney and Limehouse more healthy and more beautiful places to live for the whole community.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Urban gardening holds huge potential to provide sustainable, nutritious food sources and fuel health and wellbeing in communities within Tower Hamlets. Research shows: "People in Tower Hamlets tend to become ill at an earlier age as indicated in the ‘healthy life expectancy’ figure. Women in Tower Hamlets have the lowest healthy life expectancy in the country. "(Joint Strategic Needs Assessment: Life and Health in Tower Hamlets, 2015) Our research (currently following progress of 620 local women) shows 85% of women indicated they ate less than the recommended 5 portions of fruit/vegetables per day, and 70% marked themselves as eating less than 3 portions with a diet focused on carbohydrate, protein and sugar based snacks. Women from this group commented, "I don't have money to cook healthy food" and "I want to learn how to grow food in my flat balcony." In gaining these skills women will be able to help their families and communities access a healthier living environment.
Steps to get it done:
We are excited to work on building edible community gardens with the following: Tower Hamlets Public Health, Poplar Harca, Royal Foundation of St Katherine, Husk community centre, Salvation Army Poplar
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