Barking Food Forest and Riverside Bridge School, supported by Thames Ward Community Project, have been successful in a joint application to the London Schools’ Climate Kick-Start Green Schools Grant, and will receive £10K for the projects! Out of all the schools in London that applied, we were 1 of only 5 that were successful.
The proposal was for funding to create solar-powered rain-fed watering and electricity systems for both sites that will be fully self-sustainable and renewable, supported by a qualified permaculture teacher and electrical system consultants.
The funding will purchase:
- A durable greenhouse for the Riverside Bridge School edible garden, to replace their previous one that had blown away.
- A performance stage for BFF with an integrated rainwater harvesting roof , under-deck water storage and solar powered irrigation system.
- Solar panels for both sites.
- A portable solar electric system for BFF.
- Specialist consultations.
- Teaching hours from a permaculture specialist.
Student and wider community engagement
The project will hugely increase the students’ exposure to local wildlife, climate and pollution issues, engaging them in regular outdoor activities. Students will see, hear, smell and feel the natural world and their own roles as custodians and guardians.The irrigation and renewable energy systems will enable the projects to continue food growing activities through the seasons and be a working example of regenerative resource management, modelling how we can aim to not only be neutral in our environmental impact, but actually climate positive. BFF weekly sessions have already begun and students have been bringing siblings and parents along to participate. The central and highly visible location of the project aids in the project acting as a bridge between the student body and the wider local community. Students will gain exposure to local, organic fruit and vegetable production: renewable electrical energy and the shared experience of working together with others to create a long term asset for the local area. As a result it will improve students’ sense of agency and give them a skill set they can take forward in their lives as young adults of the future.