LEAP into Healthy Lifestyles

Incredible Edible Lambeth is working with Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP) in four wards of Lambeth (Stockwell, Vassall, Coldharbour and Tulse Hill), to facilitate activities for families with children under 4 years old, who are often on low incomes, to access more activities around healthy eating and being active.

We are prototyping ways of working that the families and children can design their own projects, such as food-growing, cooking and eating and being outdoors appreciating nature and the environment. We are putting parents in control, and building on community assets, rather than making them recipients of services.

In Stockwell we worked with Oasis Nature Garden, Stockwell Partnership and residents from the Studley estate to look at how we can make better use of the outdoor space on the estate.  On a very cold day in early February we took the nature garden to the estate, with teepees, tents, nature crafts. Brixton People’s Kitchen also came along to cook a healthy meal. IWe showed that it is possible to get children outside playing in event the worst weather, and that parents benefit too.

In Vassal ward we are working with four cafes to run healthy eating and cooking activities. They are Van Gogh (vegan cafe), Home N Away (Myatts Fields North centre), the Platform (Loughborough Farm), and the Little Cat Cafe (Myatts Fields Park). They have been running events in February and March and looking for ways to ensure they meet the needs of families with young children eg having a space for push chairs, offering to do small mashed up meals or warm milk, and happy for people to sit with a cup of coffee for a few hours when the cafe isn’t busy.

In Coldharbour ward we facilitated a half term holiday meal programme at the Loughborough Community (Max Roach) One O’Clock Club and Adventure Playground. We trained seven parents to volunteer to cook in the centre, involving families and children in the preparation of the food. We an average of 70 people a day on three days during half term, for less than 50p a head by accessing surplus food through some of the networks that IEL has helped set up over the last few years.

Finally in Tulse Hill we are establishing a community garden at High Trees Adventure Playground, where a new space is being set up for very young children and their parents during the day. We are training  up some parents in basic gardening skills so that they can grow their own veg this year, with some on-going support from Myatts Fields Park community gardener, Fabrice, who will grow seedlings in the greenhouse there to give plants a head start, and from Vinnie who runs a polytunnel garden project on the Tulse Hill estate, very nearby.

Email ediblelambeth@gmail.com for more information about any of these events. If you live in the areas and have a child under 4 then hopefully you will take part and benefit. If you would like to volunteer or get involved with any of the projects please also let us know.