Welcome to City Lights new blog – Social Startups. Fortnightly, we will be profiling exciting social startups springing up across London as well as further a field. This week we start very locally, just up the road, at Roehampton University where an exciting new initiative called Growhampton is developing. We had a chat with Teresa Sheppard, Growhamptons Development Officer to find out more:
Tell us about growhampton, how is all started and where things are at now…
Growhampton is a sustainability project coordinated by the Students’ Union at The University of Roehampton. We have a big focus on food. We grow our own food organically on campus in raised beds and a large polytunnel. We grow a huge variety of veggies including lettuce, spinach, beetroot, chilli’s and much more. We have also built and opened a coffee shop on campus, constructed from two former shipping containers. Here we serve local, organic and ethical products including the delicious Feel Good Bakery sandwiches.
What is the vision behind growhampton?
We want to engage people in food growing and support them to start growing their own. We also hope to inspire people to think about and question where their food comes from. The Hive Café and our weekly farmer’s market gives people access to sustainable food.
What are your plans for growhampton?
The project has been running for a year. We have achieved so much in this short space of time but there is so much more we want to do. The first of our plans include starting a veggie box scheme, opening a bike hub, opening a pop up thrift store and keeping some chickens.
What makes growhampton so special and unique in your opinion?
Growhampton demonstrates that even in a big city like London, it is possible to grow your own food and support local community.
How can people find out more or get involved with growhampton?
Take a look at our website, www.growhampton.com, follow us on twitter, @Growhampton and facebook. The Hive Café is open Mon-Fri 8:30am-4pm and will start opening on Saturdays, 10am-2pm from the 20th September, so come and have a coffee and check us out.
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