What is Incredible Edible Lambeth?

Incredible Edible Lambeth (IEL) is a network of food growers and activists working to improve our communities. We exist to re-localise the food system so that it nurtures 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 started with Incredible Edible Todmorden and we found the ethos inspiring. We believe in easily replicable systems which 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 IE Todmorden. These three plates are:

The Community Plate

This 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. There is evidence to suggest that if children experience the outdoors and get their hands in the soil, they will be happier, healthier individuals.

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 want to 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 directors and a wide network of volunteers and supporters.

If you would like to get in touch with us, please email incrediblelambeth@gmail.com

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?

Our Vision
IEL exists to re-localise the food system in Lambeth so that it nurtures us and strengthens our communities.

Our Values
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.

Our team

Sue Sheehan
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.

Makaela Gilchrist
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 Landels
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.

Janie Bickersteth Chair
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.

Vinnie O'Connell
Vinnie has been involved in the Edible Housing Estate movement since the 1980s and has helped establish food growing areas on South London housing estates for local food production.

Emma Slater
Emma’s background is in science outreach and public engagement; inspiring and connecting people from all walks of life with science and nature. Through roles at the Zoological Society of London, the Royal Society and currently Imperial College London, Emma manages large scale public events, communications and cultural partnerships. She is an allotment enthusiast, lover of all things green and wants to empower people to connect with each other, their food and the environment.

Giles Gibson, Trustee
Giles has a background in business having started and run various companies in the IT services and software arena. Giles has also been working on building up local social enterprises covering a wide range of aims. Over 18 years ago he helped start the Herne Hill Forum which has delivered some major urban regeneration including creating a centre for Herne Hill, started the Sunday street market, run various campaigns and managed an extensive range of social media to help promote the local area and enterprises. Giles is keen on what IEL can achieve in the critical area of food, healthy eating and community cohesion.

Charles Nyereyegona, Trustee
Currently: Charlie's Kitchen - own Private Catering Business (Lambeth). Director and Board Member Brighton and Hove Food Partnership (5 years). Food Journalist.
Previous: own Financial Troubleshooting Company - City. Financial, Legal, Media. Project Manager Systems Consultant. High - End Search Executive - Sydney, London

Our partners

We work closely with:
* Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP)
* Lambeth Food Partnership
* Groundwork London
* Sustain
* Incredible Edible Network

We have been funded by:
* Esmee Fairbairn Foundation