FGSL News December 2015

23 December 2015

We are recruiting! – Food Growing Schools: London – Project Manager

Location: London (Sustain Offices, Old Street)
Salary: £36,000
Hours: 35 Holiday Entitlement: 25 days

We are looking for an enthusiastic individual with experience and an excellent track record in project management and partnership working, bid writing and a good knowledge of relevant activity and stakeholders in London. The person will join our team to offer project management to deliver the main project objective of supporting all schools in London to become food growing schools.

Application Closing Date: Sunday, 10 January 2016
Interview Date: Tuesday, 19 January 2016

For more information and to apply visit the Garden Organic website: Vacancies

Friday 18 December 2015

London Councils show leadership on school food

  • 31 out of 33 London boroughs are doing more to improve the food available to their residents, workers and school pupils
  • More London councils than ever are serving sustainable fish; higher welfare meat, eggs and dairy; Fairtrade products; and organic and freshly prepared food in schools
  • Many are tackling food poverty by encouraging breastfeeding to ensure the best start in life for infants, and also paying the Living Wage to Council staff and contractors
  • Increased support is being shown for food growing in the community and in schools.

The results of an annual survey of food initiatives supported by London Councils were published today by campaigning network London Food Link. The ‘Good Food For London’ report [1], supported by the Mayor of London and partner food and farming organisations [2], is now in its fifth year, measuring progress and encouraging local councils to take action on good food.

Rosie Boycott, chair of the London Food Board [3], said: “It is heartening to see so many of London’s councils taking action on good food initiatives. Our local authorities are very much on the front line when it comes to improving the diets of Londoners and while they are doing a fantastic job, I hope that they will continue to find new and innovative ways to tackle obesity and promote healthy eating.”

Despite the improvements, London continues to have higher rates of obesity compared to the rest of England, in part reflecting the proliferation of unhealthy food offers on our high streets.  With new food ventures opening daily, many of which do not serve or promote healthy food and often located in poorer areas, people find themselves faced with an unhealthy food environment.

“Councils have great scope to influence the food served in their borough. While many are doing great work to improve school food, this is not the case the moment children step outside the school gates. We need more done to tackle the quality of high-street food”, explained Sofia Parente from London Food Link.  The ‘Healthier Catering Commitment’ is a first step to help local authorities improve food in high-street takeaways, but despite its importance the report found sign-up to the scheme had slowed this year.

The Good Food for London league table 2015 is topped by the London Boroughs of Greenwich, Islington and Tower Hamlets. In addition, four boroughs were recognised for having been consistently in the top five since results started to be compiled in a league table two years ago: Camden, Islington, Lewisham and Tower Hamlets. Eight boroughs were also celebrated for being ‘most improved’, demonstrating change is possible even in a short period of time: Barking & Dagenham, City of London, Croydon, Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Wandsworth and Westminster.

Full report, Good Food for London 2015: View our online interactive Good Food for London league table 2015 and download the report

14 December 2015

Good Luck Tim!

British ESA Astronaut, Tim Peake, flies to the International Space Station tomorrowSamantha Cristoforetti, Andreas Mogensen, Timothy Peak, Thomas Pesquier.

Tomorrow at 11:02am, British European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Tim Peake will fly to the International Space Station (ISS) for his six-month Principia mission.

Tim is launching on a Soyuz spacecraft from Baikonur, Kazakhstan which was rolled out onto the launch pad yesterday – watch here. Tim and the crew are due to rendezvous with the ISS at 5:23pm before climbing on-board to their new home at 7pm.

You can watch Tim’s launch on a very special episode of Stargazing Live tomorrow at 10:30am on BBC One. There will then be a second evening Stargazing Live programme at 7pm on BBC Two showing Tim’s arrival on the ISS.

Tim is an inspirational role model for young people across the UK and is dedicated to encouraging children to engage with STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects. It is because of this, we partnered with the UK Space Agency several months ago to launch Rocket Science, an exciting project allowing schools to grow seeds that have been to space.

In September we sent 2kg of rocket seeds to the International Space Station and they will be stored there until March when they are due to come back to Earth with American astronaut Scott Kelly.

When the seeds return, we will send them to up to 10,000 schools to grow alongside seeds that haven’t been to space in a huge nationwide science experiment. Read more about the project and sign up to take part here. We will be accepting applications until March when the seeds return to Earth.

Tomorrow we will be exhibiting at the Science Museum in London and Edinburgh International Science Festival in Scotland along with a host of other organisations that are running educational projects to celebrate Tim’s mission. You can read more about these projects at the UK Space Agency’s brilliant Principia website here.

If you’re on Twitter, keep in touch with us and involved in the launch by using #RocketScience and #Principia.

You can also tweet Tim Peake himself using @astro_timpeake

Good Luck Tim!

RHS Campaign for School Gardening

11 December 2015

Young Photographers Awarded Prizes

RHSphotocomp_TheoHardingRolls_FGSL news 2015London students Theo and Indra were presented with their prizes for winning this year’s RHS Young Herb Photographer of the Year.

Over the last couple of weeks we visited this year’s winners of RHS Young Herb Photographer of the Year to present them with their prizes.

Winner of the 5 to 10 age category was Indra, 8 years old from 11th Newham West Scout Group in Stratford, London for his beautiful image of borage (Borago officinalis). The photograph, which was taken in the Peak District, was chosen by the judges for its exquisite detail, clarity and colour.

Winner of the 11 to 17 age category was Theo, 11 years old from Thomas’s Clapham School, London for his stunning photograph of rosemary (Rosmarinus). The photo showed a sprig of rosemary in the sun and rain and judges loved the dramatic contrast of the soft raindrops against the dark background.

Alana Tapsell from the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and Chris Moncrieff from Vitacress visited both Indra and Theo to present them with their prizes of an iPad Mini for themselves and £500 worth of horticultural materials for their school or group.

You can see the photos from the presentations and the winning photographs below.

Congratulations Indra and Theo!

To read more about the competition, click here.
To see the winners, runners up and finalists, click here.



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