Women's Environmental Network (WEN)

Tower Hamlets Community Gardens

WEN has been working directly with small community organisations, offering support to groups of women, many living in high-rise over-crowded tower blocks with no access to gardens particularly in the Borough of Tower Hamlets. This borough is home to a diverse and vibrant community, with over 58 per cent of residents from non-white ethnic groups (2001 census). We have enabled several groups to transform spaces close to their homes into vibrant and beautiful community gardens.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from to

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1010397)

open_in_new http://www.wen.org.uk




  • Community Support & DevelopmentCommunity Support & Development
  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment
  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Older PeopleOlder People
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)



We are applying to support and advise community groups in Tower Hamlets with their urban food growing projects. These will be groups new to us who have approached us for support. We will also provide a fundraising advice session and briefing for these new groups plus other groups we currently support e.g. Asumjwe Women’s Group (a support group for women with mental health needs). We propose to organise a networking event to celebrate International Women’s Day on 7th March 2009. It would be modelled on our previously successful Culture Kitchen events. Groups from across Tower Hamlets will be invited to attend. It will bring together urban women food growers of different cultural, generational and ethnic backgrounds to share their ideas for and experiences of food growing, and enjoy a shared meal produced from the harvest of their plots. They will also have the opportunity to swap seeds and take part in a multi-lingual gardener’s question time (Sylheti, English and other community languages). These activities will enable women from a variety of backgrounds to coalesce around shared local issues, sharing skills, ideas and a meal. To view photos of an International Women’s Day event we held last year with Wapping Women’s Centre please follow this link. http://www.wen.org.uk/local_food/THgallery08.htm The need for the project The project has been developed in response to requests from groups we have previously not supported who have asked us for support to set up and manage food growing gardens in Tower Hamlets and also from feedback from Tower Hamlets women’s groups which we have previously supported, who have been requesting support and advice on fundraising. WEN is best placed to deliver the project because we have been supporting and developing community gardening in Tower Hamlets since 1999 and have built up high levels of trust with the community groups we work with. This project will build on WEN’s previous successes in community food growing as WEN has an established track record of working with community groups, particularly those from ethnic minority communities, across the country to enable them to access healthy, culturally appropriate, and sustainably produced food through projects that involve food growing. Such projects have demonstrated benefits which include increasing community cohesion; educational value for children and adults; appreciation of how food is produced as part of encouraging a healthy diet; improvement of physical and mental health as a result of regular outdoor activity and contact with nature; and the sense of achievement and empowerment of disadvantaged communities gaining new skills, or using existing skills. Brief Financial Breakdown Salaries (for staff to visit groups, give support , prepare and run workshops organise and facilitate event) £4656 Workshop materials £200 International women’s day event, materials, catering, speaker expenses, venue/ equipment hire 2,500 Volunteer expenses 180 Rent , rates, heating, lighting, insurance, renewals, repairs 471 Contribution to WEN management costs, phone stationery postage 1692 Total Project Cost 9699