Project information

St. Raphael's Edible Garden

This food growing project will support disadvantaged families living in poverty who are unable to afford fresh fruit and vegetables. The community will volunteer to grow and harvest their own produce, improve health and access accredited learning in horticulture to increase their employability.

February 2016 - November 2016

Charity information: Sufra - NW London (Food Bank & Kitchen)

Sufra - NW London (Food Bank & Kitchen) logo
  • Need


    We work in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in London, where almost half of working age residents are unemployed and 4 in 10 children grow up in child poverty. Apart from our food bank, which provides emergency aid to families in crisis, there are no services or community organising activities to engage local people in volunteering, skills development and employment opportunities. The community is ethnically divided, a hotbed for crime and distrustful of outsiders and mainstream agencies.


    We would like to create an outdoor community space that provides regular volunteering opportunities, a food growing facility and cooking programme facility that encourages healthy eating and accredited opportunities for skills development, which lead to better employment prospects for residents, particularly for young people aged 16-25 years and 50-65 year olds who have been unemployed for more than 6 months.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To develop a food growing project and improve appearance of estate.


    » We will produce a landscape design and build growing structures on the site.

    What success will look like

    We will produce a landscape design, seasonal growing plan and produce a photo collage of the development of the site.

    Aim 2

    To reduce ethnic tensions and disadvantage


    » We will set up a growing club that includes people of different ages and backgrounds to buld new relationships and informal networks on the estate.

    What success will look like

    We will collect data on the number of people taking part in the growing club, produce case studies of participants and monitor local tensions.

    Aim 3

    To increase skills development and employability of local residents


    » We will set up a programme of accredited learning and offer support in becoming self-employed or developing local enterprise in selling fresh produce.

    What success will look like

    We will gather data on the number of unemployed residents who complete an accredited learning programme and successfully find or create their own employment opportunities.

  • Impact


    We will build informal networks and regular volunteering opportunities for residents reducing isolation, community tensions and crime. Local people will learn about the provenance of food, improve their diet and reduce the risk of diabetes and obesity. Accredited learning and job brokerage opportunities will improve skills and increase economic prosperity on the estate. We will keep detailed monitoring data, case studies and survey the local community on the impact of the project.


    A lack of participation would jeopardise the project, but with an established Steering Committee of local people and the community’s on-going campaign over the last 3 years to establish the project we are confident in engaging over 100 people. Increasing employment amongst people with multiple problems is challenging but we will have the support of the Living Room and Well London projects who will provide 1-2-1 coaching and support around employment.


    We will create a monthly newsletter demonstrating the impact of the project through stories, case-studies and statistics.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £16,640 Sessional Growing Instruction 16 hours per week at £20/hour for one year
      £2,051 Growing Equipment Spades, Forks, Hose-Pipes, Gloves, Trowels, Rakes, Tarpaulin,Fruit Trees, Seeds, Compost and Membra
      £1,309 Building Structures Polytunnel, Shed, Composting Bins and Training Tent

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Beta Charitable Trust £2,500 Guaranteed
    Battlers Well Foundation £1,250 Guaranteed
    Al-Mizan Charitable Trust £1,250 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The project is located on St. Raphael’s Estate, the most deprived neighbourhood in Brent. Over 900 households live on the estate, which is dominated by social housing. The project will be located on a large derelict site on the estate that has until now attracted fly-tipping and criminal activity. We have recently installed new fences and the development of the site will improve the overall appearance of the estate and create a focus for regular community participation.


    St. Raphael’s Estate is the most deprived neighbourhood in Brent. Over-crowded housing, high unemployment, low educational attainment and significant health inequalities creates a toxic environment for crime. The area has a reputation for gang-related violence, anti-social behaviour and underlying ethnic tensions. Food poverty is rife with 86% of local children eligible for free school meals and 11% of residents suffering from diabetes due to poor diet, since fresh produce is unaffordable.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have developed strong links in the local community and organised local events attended by over 200 people. We have listened to their concerns and provided the accountable structure which has reassured Brent Council in handing over the site. A Steering Group of residents is leading on the project and with the support of our in-house strategic and operational experience in fundraising, project management and service delivery, we are in a prime position to support local regeneration.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Mohammed S Mamdani

    He is Director of the charity and will project manage the development of the site and provide monitoring and evaluation.

    Rosamund Baptiste

    A local resident with experience of running an allotment will oversee the seasonal growing plan and implementation with the sessional worker

    Francis Henry

    A local businessman who will support sustainability by soliciting corporate donations and sponsorship.

    Roger Hanlon

    Chair of the Steering Group who will oversee local community participation and engagement.

St. Raphael's Edible Garden

St. Raphael's Edible Garden