What is Incredible Edible Lambeth?
Incredible Edible Lambeth (IEL) is a network of food growers and activists who are working to improve our communities. We exist to re-localise the food system in Lambeth so that it nurtures us and strengthens our communities. We do this by bringing in resources and funding, running programmes and services and advocating for our members and a more localised food system.
Where did it all start?
It all started in with Incredible Edible Todmorden and we found the ethos inspiring. We believe in systems which are easily replicable and have an eco-system of their own. Many of our projects demonstrate this. As part of the Incredible Edible Network, IEL strives to serve up three ‘Plates’ - a central vision of the original Incredible Edible Todmorden. These three plates are:
The Community Plate
This plate is about encouraging people to look at their local environment and see how they can transform spaces into areas where food can be grown. But the Community Plate doesn’t stop at its local patch - it’s also about how a local community can work together, by partnering (for example, with a local Food Bank), sharing (both expertise and produce) and supporting each other in times of crisis.
The Learning Plate
IEL supports food growing projects in schools - we see that it is critical to provide our children with the life skills to feed themselves. We want to support these schools to reach out into their local communities to involve families in the growing of food. In addition, IEL funds workshops that enable people to set up their own food growing projects, providing expertise in anything from composting to propagating to cooking.
The Business Plate
How can we as individuals support our local food economy? That’s what the Business Plate is all about. IEL wants to signpost all of us towards local food businesses. We won’t just throw money at them, but we will find ways to encourage and connect local businesses so that they can thrive and employ more local people, thus making Lambeth an even better place to live.
What’s special about Lambeth?
Like most London boroughs, Lambeth is a series of interconnecting villages. Those villages are full of people growing and producing food (over 200 growing projects and counting). They are also full of people who suffer food poverty and ill health. Lambeth is a diverse borough offering a rich food heritage.
IEL was founded in 2010 and is now a Community Interest Company (CIC) with an experienced team of five directors and a wide network of volunteers and supporters.
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What are our aims?
To increase healthy sustainable food grown, produced, sold and eaten trough transforming our local food system, by celebrating, supporting and strengthening community food activity and the connections between local people and local food.
What are our vision and values?
IEL exists to re-localise the food system in Lambeth so that it nurtures us and strengthens our communities.
IEL believes that everyone has a right to healthy affordable food. The current food system is unjust and unsustainable, so we need to create change. Food growing is a great way to create change - to ‘green the grey’ and build community - a positive approach is both enjoyable and more likely to be effective. Food is an important part of our economy and a product that can be re-localised relatively easily.
Sue Sheehan Chair
Sue co-founded IEL and led on sustainable communities at Lambeth Council for seven years. She is highly-networked with Lambeth’s grassroots groups. Sue has extensive experience of developing innovative programmes that bring together the voluntary and statutory sectors. Sue has used her journalism background to develop as an effective communicator in tackling sustainability challenges. She has been recognised as a London Leader as part of the GLA Sustainable Development Commission programme.
Founding director of the Edible Bus Stop, Mak’s interest is in breaking down barriers using growing initiatives, drawing communities together for a common good. Having lived in many countries, and seen first hand what makes a city pleasant or not. Mak believes big cities need not be unwelcoming, grey places. Mak was recognised by The Observer Magazine as an ‘Ethical Innovator’.
Marjorie is a graphic designer with wide experience of leadership in community development. She co-founded Myatt’s Fields Park Project and led the £3 million renovation of the park. Marjorie has been chair of Myatt’s Fields Park Project for six years and is chair of Minet Hub, Friends of Minet Library and vice-chair Lambeth Tenants Council.
Victoria co-founded IEL after leading on a £3 million regeneration of Myatt’s Fields Park. She led the strategic development of the park as a food and growing hub and is developing an inclusive community-led neighbourhood greening strategy based around food. She is a fundraiser specialising in strategic development and community inclusion.
Janie is an artist and environmental activist with a life long passion for growing food. She lived in Durham for 20 years where she set up a social enterprise to encourage more sustainable lifestyles, in particular, she supported schools with their 'greening' programmes. More recently, she helped to set up a community garden in Singapore, and worked on the environmental programme of a large international school, helping to set up an Incredible Edible.
We work closely with:
* Lambeth Food Partnership
* Groundwork London
* Incredible Edible Network
We have been funded by:
* Esmee Fairbairn Foundation