Women’s Environmental Network, Women’s Food Growing
Women’s Environmental Network (WEN) trains vulnerable groups of women within deprived areas to grow their own food. Funding provides additional outreach and regular training to more community groups.
WEN is the only UK charity working on issues that link women, health and the environment. Through its projects, WEN aims to raise awareness on topics such as the impacts of climate change on women’s lives, harmful chemicals in cosmetics, household waste reduction, sustainable food systems and reusable menstrual products.
In London, WEN is working in some of the poorest neighbourhoods to train vulnerable groups of women how to grow their own food. The aim is to boost the mental and physical health, confidence and wellbeing of women from low-income and minority groups, at the same time as teaching them valuable skills and knowledge. In Tower Hamlets, the charity runs a network of 1,500 community members who share advice, skills and seeds! It organises talks on local and global environmental and women’s rights topics, as well as training workshops. Isolated and vulnerable women are given support in creating food growing spaces on housing estates and in community centres and they’re encouraged to engage in the community.
The charity runs a ‘Spice it Up!’ organic food growing program in East London, that’s aiming to reach 1,550 women. Women are provided with training on growing their own fruit and vegetables, in order to reduce social isolation and lift mental and physical wellbeing. The program brings green spaces to urban areas and increases access to healthy, affordable fresh food for low-income families.
More funding would enable ‘Spice it up!’ to provide regular training to different women’s community groups in tower hamlets; organise three Tower Hamlets food growing network events each year and provide ongoing support and advice to community gardens in the borough.