- grow and distribute sustainably produced food to local residents and businesses;
- promote healthy eating and sustainable lifestyles;
- engage a wide range of people in learning and skills activities,
- deliver health and well-being benefits to the local community; and
- offer space and support for community groups and social enterprises to run activities that benefit the community.
Ubele Initiative is a BAME-led organisation, established in 2014, working intergenerationally to create community wealth through sustainable community assets, next generation leadership and community businesses. They are based at Wolves Lane but operate across London and in national and international collaborative programmes.
Organiclea is a workers’ cooperative set up in 2001 to use food as a tool for community connection and system change. They grow and distribute food and offer extensive training, volunteering and health and wellbeing opportunities from their site in Waltham Forest. Given their strong track record they were asked by Haringey Council to advise on the potential of Wolves Lane Nursery as a similar community food growing hub. They then came together with local partners to develop a consortium bid for the site when it was tendered in 2017.
An integral part of Wolves Lane Centre are the site users, such as Black Rootz, and the volunteers. Black Rootz (https://www.ubele.org/our-work/black-rootz) is the first multigenerational Black-led growing project in the UK, where the older generation share their expertise on growing whilst also supporting youth engagement in their surrounding natural environment. We have weekly volunteers who support Black Rootz, as well as maintain our palm houses and cactus house, alongside wider site maintenance and growing support. Classhouse 4 is also an entirely volunteer run growing space, with additional internships working with our head grower, Ella. Our family of supporters is growing as our site develops, with new ways of engaging and educational opportunities are offered.
With the aim of operating as a sociocracy, all our consortium members, site users and volunteers will have the opportunity to feed into the development and running of Wolves Lane Centre making it an inclusive and sustainable green community hub.
The Wolves Lane Centre is governed by Organiclea and the Ubele initiative. Both organisations bring their own learnings and through a series of workshops and interactions with the local community we are able to stay relevant to the local community.
Facilitating many different groups with their own strong identities has its pluses and minuses. Wolves Lane Centre is a unique and special place, we are continuing to learn how to hone in on the passion and enthusiasm whilst still staying aligned to our core values and goals.
We are forming slowly using a sociocracy model, it’s working really well resulting in team members being invested in the overall outcome.
Sustainable growing - we aim to utilise all available land, measuring yield of harvested produce and diversity of crops we grow, while ensuring environmentally sustainable facilities on site.
Education - success is measured by the impact on community growing, alongside individual knowledge, experience and confidence we have helped developed.
Social enterprise - our aim is to be self-sustaining, by selling low-cost produce and plants, paid-for courses and hiring out our space, we are able to invest profits into providing free meals to volunteers, free community events, the up-keep of our open spaces, school activities and a sliding payment scale.
Community engagement - the community is at the heart of Wolves Lane Centre. We want to ensure a safe, welcoming and inclusive space for our community, retain and grow the number of active volunteers, increase the number of attendees at events and workshops, community markets, and cafe meals provided.