For the past five years, our education team have been working in partnership with Waltham Forest Council Youth Offending Team to transform the unused space behind the offices to growing spaces. All of the work is carried out by young offenders, young people range from 12-18, as part of their reparation order. So far, raised beds have been built to plant and grow vegetables and fruit, as well as fruit trees, wildflowers and hedgerows of berries.  

The vegetables and fruit grown in the garden are sold to the social workers and other staff members in the offices the garden is part of. The money raised is then given to the charity Victims Support, enabling the young people to give something back to the community.

“This support has been invaluable to Waltham Forest YOT and its young people. Often, they know nothing about where fruit and vegetables even come from.    It has made a big difference to the successful completion of reparation orders.” Steve Clements: Reparation Officer

Through learning skills of garden maintenance and horticulture, the young people have been successful in applying for gardening maintenance positions in garden centres. One young person has enjoyed the time spent in the garden so much that they are now attending Capel Manor Horticulture College.

“Gardening is a useful life skill to learn”. Young person  

        

WHAT NEXT?.....

Next on our list is combat waste in the offices and garden. We are due to build compost heaps and a cage for leaf mould.

If you would like to volunteer your time in support of this project, please contact [email protected]


“This year we have been lucky enough to have received £86,300 over three years from the
City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust.”