TYS - CL Grows South Acton

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TYS - CL Grows South Acton

Cultivate London By Cultivate London

Cultivate London: an urban farm & social enterprise using derelict land to train unemployed youth in horticulture as a way to create access to employment. In 2015 we open a site on South Acton Estate

Ealing Idea stage

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Cultivate London (CL) provides apprenticeships and traineeships for NEET youth aged 16-24 years old, as well as a range of volunteering opportunities and events for other community members. The enterprise element of CL uses the plants seeded and grown by young people to sell locally to cafes, green grocers and box schemes. Revenue generated from sales is used to create further training and apprenticeship opportunities.

In 2015 we will open a growing site on the South Acton Estate, on the site known as “The Compound”. We will be leasing the site from Ealing Council at a peppercorn rate until 2017. From here we will grow a wide range of herbs, vegetables and flowers for sale to the community and to businesses across London. We will base our youth training programme here, and also work to engage residents of South Acton estate and members of the wider community in food growing.

The space will be transformed into a vibrant, biodiverse and welcoming space for the community to enjoy.

What we'll deliver:

  • Set up 4 polytunnels to grow vegetables, herbs and flowers for sale to the community
  • Plant a variety of heritage fruit trees around the perimeter of our site
  • Work with school children and other community members to plant vegetables and flowers on the verge around our site
  • Engage up to 40 youth on our 2015 training programme, and support minimum 20 of these on into employment or education
  • Offer training session on food growing to members of the South Acton Estate
  • Work with local community groups (e.g. ACF, Acton Community Allotment, Bollo Bridge Youth Centre) to "green" the Estate
  • Make a range of vegetables, herbs and flowers available to members of the South Acton Estate at affordable prices
  • Host open days and other community events on site to engage people in food growing and community activities

Why it's a great idea:

Youth unemployment is a serious issue in our community. CL works with youth who are furthest from the job market to give them the skills they need to gain employment and to support them into the job market. From 2015 we will focus especially on engaging youth from the South Acton Estate.

For many of our young people the opportunity to gain work experience & qualifications in a land-based, outdoor setting is not only preferable, but in many cases is the only way that they are able to gain these. We provide a valuable way forward for hard-to-reach youth who may not otherwise benefit from traditional work experience and training programs, all while converting derelict land to good use, providing locally grown produce for sale to the community, and engaging a wide range of individuals in educational activities and community events. The result: a more pleasant environment and a more vibrant community and local economy.

Steps to get it done:

  • Set up polytunnels and other infrastructure using equipment moved from one of our current growing sites
  • Plant a range of heritage fruit trees around the perimeter of the site, donated to us by Abundance London
  • Plant a variety of perennial herbs and flowers on the verge surrounding the site, which we will grow ourselves
  • Work with our apprentices, trainees and community volunteers to set up the space

In addition to the work we do own our own growing site, we will actively work with schools (e.g. Berrymede Primary) and community groups which already exist on the South Acton Estate, including Acton Community Forum, Acton Community Allotments and Bollo Bridge Youth Centre, in order to engage residents and work to improve the environment on the South Acton Estate through a variety of horticulture activities


Location Ealing

About the space

The Compound, disused land in middle of South Acton Estate


LB Ealing

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