This weekend, students and staff at The Totteridge Academy were joined by TV presenter George Lamb to launch a brand new community farming initiative.
GROW, established by George Lamb, is a life skills education programme that gives children the opportunity to interact with nature, teach them about nutrition and provide a sustainable source of food for schools and the local community.
The Totteridge Academy is the site of GROW’s brand new school farm. The Saturday event marked the first of several fundraising days that will be held at the school to raise money for the farm’s continued development and to celebrate its initial success.
The farm is already home to bees and sheep but will be developed over the coming months, with students and staff creating a vegetable patch and welcoming more animals. Eventually, students will be able to grow a variety of fruit and vegetables on site, which will be used to supply the school canteen and local restaurants with fresh, local produce.
At the launch event, George Lamb gave a speech and Q&A where he introduced GROW, accompanied by his father and actor Larry Lamb. The academy also welcomed Deputy Mayor Cllr. Caroline Stock, who helped to celebrate the launch as a brilliant addition to the Barnet community.
The academy ran a series of workshops, from seed sowing to woodwork, as an example of some of the activities that GROW will offer when the farm is fully running. The school also welcomed a host of animals for attendees to meet, including goats, chickens and a new flock of Shetland sheep.
As well as developing a vibrant, working farm, GROW hopes to raise enough funds to build a completely sustainable outdoor classroom on the site. Teachers will be able to use the space to run weekly sessions for students at the academy to learn about food and nutrition. The multipurpose space will also be opened up to members of the local community, who will get the chance to take part in health and wellbeing workshops, as well as classes in yoga, calisthenics and meditation.
The event was the launch of GROW’s online fundraising campaign to raise money for the build of the outdoor classroom and is part of Spacehive, a platform that facilitates match funding opportunities, including a possible £25,000 from the Mayor of London.
George Lamb, radio and TV presenter, said:
“We’re so excited to finally Launch GROW and the day was a huge success. We will now be focussing on developing the farm further and reaching our target for our fundraising campaign, so watch this space!”
Chris Fairbairn, Principal of The Totteridge Academy, said:
“GROW Totteridge is the perfect example of how we deliver an Education with Character to our students. The farm will be a fantastic way for our young people to learn more about sustainability and nutrition and to gain the critical knowledge and tools that they require to develop into responsible, healthy citizens, with an understanding of the world around them.
“The farm will be a wonderful asset to our school and local community and we are excited to continue developing the site with some ambitious plans over the next couple of years.”
To find out more visit www.spacehive.com/growtotteridge