At the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI) we’ve been really pleased to develop new partnerships with local Lambeth groups this summer.
Roots to work
One great example is working with St Mungo’s homelessness charity, who built us a raised bed where visiting schoolchildren can see, touch and taste a wider range of edible plants as part of our ‘Botany on Your Plate’ project (funded by City Bridge Trust). St Mungo’s did it within their ‘Putting Down Roots for Young People’ programme – helping community gardens while giving young unemployed people an opportunity to work. We paid them for their work, and were very glad to spend our grant money this way. It was the first time St Mungo’s had heard about the SLBI. Having found our ‘hidden gem’ they’re now keen to bring a group here for a workshop.
Another cooperation is with runners from Good Gym Lambeth, who did a fantastic job after our big refurbishment and conservation project (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund). We had over 200 big boxes of specimens upstairs, and I really couldn’t ask the people who’d carried them upstairs to carry them back. Good Gym do ‘good works’ in the middle of their evening run. They loved the idea. They ran here, moved our boxes downstairs in a chain of 6 people, all in 40 minutes, then ran off again (though I did manage to show them our lovely garden briefly). We have some fit new visitors wanting to come back for SLBI events.
Shout out to other local groups
Our recent exchange visitors from the Botanic Garden of Rome said “We’ve got different ways of working. We like your way better. You’re so much more part of the local community. We’re going to try and be more like you”. We’re open to new ways of working here, so would love other local groups to get in touch.
For more information
- For details of talks, walks, workshops, open garden evenings and more events at SLBI this summer, see their information pages and donload a summer events programme.
- Follow SLBI on Twitter and Facebook
- Contact them by email or contact Caroline