Roots and Shoots

A green oasis in the inner city

Roots and Shoots is a haven for people and biodiversity. Located in Kennington, south London, it’s not only delivered training to vulnerable people for four decades, it’s transformed a derelict brownfield site into a beautiful biodiverse garden.

As it enters its 40th anniversary year, we’re supporting the charity with a £22,507 grant which will help fund a programme called ‘Set to Flourish!’. It’s made up of three projects: the Pollinator Project (planting bee-friendly flowers), Jubilee Beds, (making a new growing area for students), and piloting a Parent Group.

  • Roots and Shoots was given the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere UK Award in 2011 recognising their impact on biodiversity and contribution to the local community.
  • Every year Roots and Shoots trains over 30 16-24 year olds who have had difficulty coping in the traditional educational system and helps prepare them for the world of work.
  • The attendance rate for students at Roots and Shoots is around 92% (which is ‘outstanding’, according to their Lambeth education inspector).

Attracting bees, supporting the community

The Pollinator Project will bring bees and butterflies to the area. Roots and Shoots are planting and propagating suitable flowers not only in their own garden, but in local schools, care homes and neighbouring gardens. Our funding has also paid for a new delivery trike that students can use to deliver plants in the local area, as well as supporting bee education sessions for local groups including a refugee group, disabled groups and local families.

As part of the anniversary celebrations, a new growing area for students is being created. The Jubilee Beds will enable students to grow healthy vegetables that they will cook and eat in their cookery classes.

The needs of students at Roots and Shoots may impact on their families. The pilot Parent Group will help to relieve the pressure and isolation that many have experienced during lockdown. Run by an art therapist, it will offer supportive monthly parent sessions, and if successful, will continue in the long run.

Our Pollinator Project is especially important due to insect populations having dropped drastically through climate change and the use of pesticides and chemicals. As an organisation we are committed to do what we can at a grassroots level by providing nectar sources throughout the year to boost local pollinating insects such as bees, butterflies and hoverflies.”
Staff member, Roots and Shoots

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