St. Raphael’s Edible Garden Impact Report 2021: An Oasis of Social Inclusion, Organic Food and Environmental Sustainability
As detailed in this comprehensive impact report by Sufra NW London, St. Raphael’s Edible Garden is a flagship community growing project spanning over 238m2 of leafy growing space in one of Brent’s most disadvantaged housing estates.
Established in 2014 in partnership with the local community, the Community Garden is wheelchair accessible and hosts a teaching tipi, a chicken coup with 20 free-range chickens, a wildlife pond, over 40 fruit trees, numerous growing beds, a large-scale composting system, a compostable toilet, a stunning pergola and a bricked pizza oven.
The Garden exists solely to benefit the community, enabling disadvantaged people from all backgrounds to adopt simple changes to their lifestyles that benefit them and others. It provides a social-therapeutic space from where we can invest in the skills, health and wellbeing of local people.
An Award-Winning Investment in the Community
For two years in a row, St. Raphael’s Edible Garden has received an ‘Outstanding Award’ from the Royal Horticultural Society, which would not have been possible without the thousands of individuals who have contributed to the Garden’s development and participated in our programme of learning and enrichment activities.
With the support of generous partners including the David Cock Foundation, the Ernest Cook Trust and Islamic Relief, over £140,000 has been invested in capital works on the site. Over 300 corporate volunteers across 40 major businesses in London have donated their time, and 200 adults and children have received an AQA accreditation in food growing, chicken rearing or a range of nature-based activities through our Forest Academy.
A series of field trips and work experience placements have hosted hundreds of students from local schools such as Ark Academy, Phoenix Arch, Woodfield School as well as many cohorts of home-schooled students.
We have over 70 varieties of organic fruits and vegetables and 43 mature fruit and nut trees which absorb an estimated 946 kg in CO2 emissions per year. Over the last two years, we distributed over 8,000 free-range eggs and harvested over 2 tonnes of organic produce worth £10,297 – the equivalent of 15,414 meals for the local community.