Medway Court Housing Estate

medwayCt-3Projects: courtyard allotment & biodiverse living roof

Medway Court housing estate residents explain how they got involved with Global Generation.

Our goals

Ten years ago Medway Court residents put a lot of work and energy into their car park into a garden. Over the last few years my own household and the estate caretakers were the only ones keeping it from total neglect. When we held a meeting to see if the residents wanted GG to get involved no one turned up.

GG's first day of planting and basket weaving with the volunteers from The Guardian, the Generators and young people from local schools brought a number of residents down to the garden. This initial burst of energy is being sustained through a fresh sense of pride and interest in using the space to grow herbs and vegetables.

Milestones

April 09 Global Generation commissioned to deliver community-based food growing programme based on our “I, We, and The Planet” approach for Guardian News & Media (GNM) staff. Key criteria were provision of doing, learning and reflective activities with staff working together with local young people, to open up discussion on aspects of sustainability (people, planet and profit)
May 09 18 GNM staff from the Ad Sales dept. work with GG and 18 local young people to develop a food growing garden on Medway Court Housing Estate
June 09 On World Environment Day GNM MD Tim Brooks publically launched the partnership with Global Generation to GNM staff
“This is the first project GNM has done that brings together our interest in the local community and in sustainability” Tim Brooks
July 09 GG ran a workshop for 25 GNM staff from senior management team and 25 local young people, creating first stage of the Skip Garden - themed as “creating a new future”
Sept 09 GG ran workshop in the Skip Garden for 25 new GNM starters and 25 young people with the theme of “how to create a sustainable garden”

 

'I found out about GG from the internet and thought it would be great if my children (ages 13 and 10) could get involved in a local 'green' project.'

Joy Vick, Medway Court resident

Results

I just can't believe we are growing aubergines in Kings Cross – amongst other things. We're not just growing vegetables for ourselves but the herbs and other produce are being sold to restaurants – giving the children involved a sense of enterprise. The staff from the cafe over the road that trains people with learning disabilities are also helping grow the produce and using it in their café.

We've been connected with schools, businesses and the Kings Cross developers through information sharing and doing activities together – developing connections and relationships and finding out about shared ambitions for the area that can be achieved through working together. This is a living breathing example of people making change happen through craft, energy, inspiration and most of all coming together with a shared ambition – to reduce carbon impacts.

Thanks to Joy Vick, resident, for writing this case study.

medwayCt-1medwayCt-2

Project: Courtyard allotment & biodiverse living roof

medwayCt-4Camden Council explain how they got involved with Global Generation.

Our goals

Global Generation’s work around food growing is one of our priorities within the sustainability delivery plan for Camden Council. The attraction to council members was the partnership element. As a local authority we didn’t have the skills or contacts to bring in the partnerships that Global Generation already had in place. This meant that spreading the risk would lead to a more sustainable project, one that did not rely wholly on a particular partner.

To have this ready made and accessible was a big boost to Camden’s food growing effort. With support from some residents at Medway Court, the plan to use part of their garden was developed and now provides a location for part of the Global Generation food growing social enterprise. The energy from Global Generation meant that from inception to opening, the Medway Court site was effectively managed and the project smoothly delivered.

Milestones

December 08 Structural engineer report done for bio–diverse substrate living roof
May 09 Guardian News & Media Ad Sales worked with 15 young people from South Camden Community School, Maria Fidelis and 3 learning disabled adults from the Camden Society to develop food growing garden
June 09 Bi-monthly twilight volunteer training and food growing sessions begin
July 09 First harvest sold to Konstam Restaurant – ongoing harvest provided by Camden Society for One KX cafe
July 09 Volunteers from The Guardian host a barbecue in the garden for 70 visitors to launch the Medway Court garden
August 09 Two polytunnels constructed in the garden to extend the growing season
Sept 09 London 21 sustainability project funded GG to run food growing workshops on the estate, and train London 21 in the “I, We, and the Planet” community engagement approach – for use in other parts of London

'Global Generation have been good at linking with estate-based staff and its strengths lie with communicating with residents and the community as part of the process. As a result there is extensive support for their project.'

Dilip Shah, Estate service manager, London Borough of Camden

'Global Generation have been good at linking with estate-based staff and its strengths lie with communicating with residents and the community as part of the process. As a result there is extensive support for their project.'

Dilip Shah, Estate service manager, London Borough of Camden

 

 

Results

As an exercise in sustainability, the project exceeded its early brief of food production and has stepped into the realm of sustainable communities and social capital:

1. Residents have become interested in their open communal space. Where there was, at best, indifference to the communal areas, residents are now becoming protective about their environment. The effect of seeing food grown on their estate has motivated residents to bring back into use areas of the garden that had been neglected.

2. The Global Generators added to the understanding of sustainability in their networking in the Kings Cross area. The contacts they have made and the work carried out by them with the disparate volunteers sustains the community. This networking process for these individuals has been powerful in improving their life chances. It has broken down barriers between sections in Kings Cross and exposed those involved to new ideas and opportunities.

Thanks to Merek Wilusynski for writing this case study.

medwayCt-1medwayCt-2

Bookmark This

logo-footer

Supporting young people create the
sustainable world they want to live in.

Find out how to get involved >>

Follow us! facebook  twitter

Get in touch

Email - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Find us >  map

Charity Reg. No. 1106420 | Company Reg. No. 5052045