Stars help Bensham Manor pupils get back to their roots

Reggae, reggae: Levi Roots is helping Croydon children find their food-growing roots

Levi Roots, the sauce-maker-turned-TV-star, and “the Black Farmer”, Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, have teamed up with a Lottery-funded company in Croydon to show young children how to grow food and become sustainable.

Pamper Indulge and Give – which wallows in its acronym P.I.G. – runs projects in conjunction with local schools to help to teach children aged from five to 11 about health, wellbeing and fitness.

P.I.G. has just started its Green Project, backed with a £63,000 grant over three years from the National Lottery.

Digging in: some children at work on the Bensham Manor allotments

The Green Project aims to teach local children about the importance of growing your own food. Their allotment at Bensham Manor will be where the children will be working to grow their own food.

They will also be cooking what they have grown with celebrity vegan chef Kirly Sue and the project’s patron, Levi Roots.

Emmanuel-Jones is the project’s other patron, and he believes that getting children at a young age to understand where their food comes from, and how to prepare it simply and inexpensively, represent important life lessons.

“Giving children first-hand experience of the land and growing things is invaluable,” Emmanuel-Jones said.

‘Invaluable experience’: Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, the ‘Black Farmer’

“So many young people today have never made the connection between the land and the food they eat.

“This is why I am really proud to be part of the Green Project and to be actively building greater awareness of the role of the land and farming in our lives and the part we can all play in growing food locally and sustainably.”

Charlene Charles is the director of Pamper Indulge and Give. “When we asked the children where their food comes from, they really didn’t know,” she said.

“This project is important to us so that children learn more skills that they can take with them into adulthood and understand the importance of sustainably. It also keeps the children focused and away from knife crime and learns more about their community.”

For more information, visit the P.I.G. website by clicking here.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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