Lambeth Larder's new home at Brixton Advice Centre
Interview by James Hopkirk, September 2017
So what is Lambeth Larder?
Lambeth Larder is a community food resource for local people. It’s the first of
its kind in London, if not the UK. There’s a website, online map and free
downloadable info sheets for anyone to use. The resource can help people
find emergency food, save money, reduce waste; cook healthy meals on a
small budget and lots more.
People can also use the Lambeth Larder to find services nearby, including
help with money problems, legal advice, digital support, mental health and
homelessness. Many of the organisations listed in the Lambeth Larder offer
opportunities to volunteer or donate, like the food banks and community
gardens. So, it has something for everyone.
What made you set it up in the first place?
In my last job, as Community Food Coordinator at St. Luke’s Hub in
Kennington, part of my role was to research what local community groups do
to reduce food poverty and to support that work. There’s so much great
community work going on in Lambeth. Sometimes it’s hard for people to find
out what’s available. I wanted to find some simple ways to share the
information and promote the work being done – and Lambeth Larder is
What were you doing before?
I’ve been working in Lambeth for ten years. Firstly, on environmental
regeneration projects, that involved working with groups to improve parks
and open spaces in the borough. Then, I became more involved in community
food projects, running them independently. That resulted in me leading on
Lambeth Food Insecurity Project, a two-year pilot project, which
Lambeth Council funded, and which ended in the summer.
How has this partnership with Brixton Advice Centre come about, and what
will it involve?
I’m really excited to be working with Brixton Advice Centre (BAC). I made
contact with Patrick Torsney last year when BAC hosted a collaboration
with University College London (UCL) looking into the effects of food
insecurity on health. In June, we co-hosted a seminar called ‘Enough’s Enough:
Tackling Food Insecurity in Lambeth’. The event presented the findings from
Edwina Prayogo’s research (UCL) and my report on food insecurity in the
borough. When the funding from Lambeth Council ended, Patrick invited
Lambeth Larder to have a base at BAC. I’ll be here weekly
while we work on fundraising and formalizing Lambeth Larder.
How can people get involved?
The Lambeth Larder relies on input from the community. I’m always looking
for people to get in contact if they have information to share about local
events we can add to the blog, groups or services that have not been listed, or
if they have healthy low-cost recipes or tips to share, or anything else they
think we should know. We’ll be looking for volunteers to help with the project going forward, too. So people can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
What's next for Lambeth Larder?
Over the next few months, we’ll be busy fundraising to secure the Lambeth
Larder and produce new paper resources - booklets, leaflets and so on - that
we can give out to schools, libraries and community groups. Not everyone is
online, so we want to make sure Lambeth Larder is available to as many
people as possible. Also, we want people to spread the word about Lambeth
Larder, use the resources and tell anyone they know to check it out.
The more people that use Lambeth Larder the better, it’s a free resource!
Brixton Advice Centre, 165-167 Railton Rd London SE24 0LU