Healthy Living Platform recently held its first Annual General Meeting.
Healthy Living Platform was founded in April 2019, splitting off from Incredible Edible Lambeth to deliver large scale health and sustainability programmes, in particular the LEAP into Healthy Living programme.
LEAP into Healthy Living is a project for Lambeth Early Action Partnership, a 10 year Lottery funded programme to improve lives for children born into poverty in four of the borough’s most deprived wards. There are over 20 interventions that have been funded as part of that programme, and we are just one, but it is a significant part of the work. Our mission is make it easier for people to lead healthy lives, so we to do a few things:
- Our main focus is food.
- cook and eat projects (all vegetarian because we want to encourage people to eat more vegetables, and for everyone to eat the same thing, parents and children),
- We provide subsidised fruit and vegetables (free through surplus) again to make it easier to eat more vegetables
- We run a Food Ambassador training programme to give people food hygiene certificates and skills that they can use to cook in their communities and to help them get paid work
- We encourage physical activities
- Zumba, yoga – all on-line now, and family fitness classes
- Walks – exploring new places
- We are currently collecting
Everything we do has a community focus – we do not just deliver training, we enable people to cook in their communities and to help one another. We put food at the heart of communities by accessing community centres and working with the people who run the centres, as much as the community members themselves to show them the benefits of running their own community food projects.
During 2020 we responded to the emergency pandemic and partnered with the Council to make up food parcels for people shielding or struggling during the first lockdown. The lockdown revealed a layer of food poverty that had previously been invisible. We advised on the contents of the food parcels and the Council generously bought fresh fruit and vegetables, and much more, and we got reports that people had never eaten so well. The project was huge – on our busiest days we packed 600 food parcels. Thankyou to all the wonderful volunteers who helped out during this time.
We have always had a focus on making it easier for people to eat more fruit and vegetables but suddenly communities started to find ways to support one another and we realised that we could support them by helping them get access to surplus food, and demonstrating how to set up cooking and neighbourhood food projects like ours. We also started looking at which projects were the most successful and learning from elsewhere in the country.
Towards the end of 2020 we won funding from the Lottery Community Fund to pilot a variety of neighbourhood food approaches at Southwyck Hall (Coldharbour Lane, central Brixton). We have been delivering cooked meals to people who cannot easily cook at home or get out of their homes, and we trialled Southwyck Pantry – like a food bank but set up as a shop where people can chose what they like. We are working in partnership with Millennium Community Services and together we are working to address food poverty and digital exclusion in the local area. Millennium Community Services is run by Gail Townsend who said: “The Millennium Community Services CIC organisation is focused on helping people, particularly in the Lambeth community. We are a grassroots independent multi-purposed organisation helping to develop the community, specialising in assistive technology and digital engagement. We are pleased to be collaborating with Healthy Living Platform.”
For the future we are working towards becoming a charity. We currently have seven potential trustees and are hoping to recruit more. We are particularly looking for expertise in Human Resources, Safeguarding and Fundraising. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.