Team London Small Grants Innovation Fund - Cordwainers Grow

27 September 2016

Cordwainers Grow is a garden based social enterprise promoting urban gardening, wildlife and biodiversity. Their projects are focused on connecting communities with nature and the environment to develop values that promote respect for both people and planet.

One of Team London’s aims is to drive innovation in the voluntary sector. Since 2011, Team London has invested more than £550,000 to support over 50 community groups and third sector organisations across London. The projects that we have funded have helped tens of thousands of Londoners and created exciting new volunteering projects and campaigns. In 2015 Team London invested a further £160,000 into London’s third sector. The focus of the grant round was to help more Londoners volunteer in groups and provide more Speed Volunteering opportunities for Londoners.

RBS building raised beds
Cordwainers Grow received £10,000 to fund the Speed Greening project. This provided volunteer activity sessions that benefited community gardens and green spaces in Hackney. The activities ranged from hands on garden activities such as planting trees or building new raised beds to activities designing a poster for an event and assisting with social media. The volunteer opportunities were designed to appeal to a wide range of volunteers with differing interests and skills to offer.

The grant has been a huge success allowing Cordwainers Grow to host 60 group volunteering sessions. Overall 359 volunteers engaged in the project, 1,635 hours were logged and 85 posts were advertised through the Speed Volunteering website.

The volunteers contributed to the development of 7 green spaces for new and existing community groups. Cordwainers Grow had high engagement with volunteering groups hosting 10 employee volunteering days. This enabled them to create a greater impact on the sites they were working on and also form long lasting relationships. They also hosted 6 skill-focused training sessions including fundraising support for volunteers.

93% of volunteers rated their experience very rewarding or mostly rewarding, 96% of volunteers are likely to volunteer again in the future and 96% would recommend volunteering to a friend or family member.

Cordwainers Grow


It was really fun to be a part of this day and really make a visible difference and impact. Thank you!


Cordwainers Grow treat their volunteers with patience and kindness and their passion for plants is catching!


We liked learning about the project and the feel good factor of giving back.




The fifteen other charities who received a £10,000 grant were; Brixton Peoples Kitchen,  Create London, Deen City Farm, DKMS, Good Gym, Haringey Mencap, People Dancing, Providence Row, Selby Trust, Sufra NW London, Sutton Community Farm, The Maypole Project, Volunteer Centre Kensington and Chelsea, Wise Thoughts and Worldwrite.



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