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6) 1997 Report

We have managed to recover only two Annual Reports.. which we reproduce here because they are so interesting... If you have any others, please email us with info.. TA!

1997 Annual Report

The People

Green Adventure Trustees for 1997

Carol Chapman

Fiona RobertsFounder Member
Hugh HarrisLETS
Janine LaiVice Chair
Martin SmithChair Person
Paddy DalyBox Scheme
Peter FirkinMinutes Secretary
Ruth AllenTreasurer
Veronica BarryFood Growing
Green Adventure Volunteers for 1996
Andrew Cooper - Box Scheme
Anna Carlile - Gardens
Annis Joslin - Playscheme 
Ayo Adolarinwa - Admin 
Bernard Sheahan - Gardens 
Bruce Carr - Box Scheme 
Clare Goddard - Youthwork 
Cleopatra Williams - Food Growing
Cliff Osborne - Greenhouse 
Dan Farr - Gardens
Donna Malcomson - Box Scheme 
Duncan Law - Transport
Eleanor Kehoe - Greenhouse 
Henry Jones - Gardens 
Jane Carr - Box Scheme 
Jane Reynolds - New Deal 
Janet Harper - Box Scheme 
Jenny Jones - Admin 
Jessica Lerner - Box Scheme 
Julia Abbott - Box Scheme 
Liam McCall - Box Scheme 
Lucy Goddard - Box Scheme 
Lucy Sturrock - Solicitor 
Mandy Jones - Box Scheme
Margaret Jailler - Admin 
Marion Wallace - Box Scheme 
Martine Drake - Box Scheme 
Maxine Angus - Box Scheme 
Olivia Bernardini - Transport 
Opitoke Gerba - Admin
Peter Dunnett - New Deal & Trailer
Peter Meredith - Transport 
Pip Lane - Box Scheme 
Rebecca Rebecca - Box Scheme 
Roger King - Fundraising 
Roseanna Waters - Playscheme 
Sally Brewer - Gardens
Shade Akinsowon - Admin 
Soledad - Box Scheme 
Stephanie Lodge - Orchard Sec. 
Steve Barbe' - Transport
Tanja Liebs - Greenhouses 
Tony Fadele - Admin 
Tracey Tomlin - Fundraising 
Una Bennett - Eco-Building 
Valerie Thorpe - Box Scheme 
Yukiko Kakuta - Design Help

Green Adventure Staff for 1997
Clare Woods PlayleaderAssistant Summer Playscheme (temp)
Imogen Rodgers Playleader Summer Playscheme (temp)
Patrick English Recycling Co-ordinator (1 day/wk)
Stefania Strega Co-ordinator (3 days/wk)
Steven Jakobs Food-Growing Co-ordinator (temp)
Terry McGuinness Food-Growing Co-ordinator (2 days/wk)
Viv Talbot Box Scheme Co-ordinator (2.5 days/wk)

The Mission

GREEN ADVENTURE was set up in January `95 by a mixed group of ordinary SE London people who wanted to do practica¡ work to further inner city sustainable regeneration. We have been extremely successful in staying very close to the grassroots, responsive and innovative (adventurous!) and becoming increasingly professional at the same time.


"Ordinary people are shaping the next Century: in our own homes and neighbourhoods, with each small change we make, we are building a healthy and positive present and future for ourselves and for our children: a great GREEN ADVENTURE."



The Vision

1997 GA Annual Report

Permaculture is a successful, practica¡ approach to designing sustainable environments. Permaculture draws together the skills and knowledge of many ecologically sound 
disciplines and enables us to establish productive environments which provide for our essential needs: Food, Energy, Shelter, Social & Financia¡ structures.

Put into practice, permaculture empowers the individual to be resourceful and selfreliant and to become a conscious part of the solution to the many problems which face us, both locally and globally. Putting the ideals of sustainable development into practice on a concrete, local scale is what Green Adventure's work is all about.

Transforming the noble words of international conferences into practica¡ deeds isn't necessarily glamorous work. Creating sustain able communities is, however, completely achievable and there is an increasingly great willingness to contribute. We are keen to set up practical structures to achieve this for the particularty challenging setting of the inner city.

Natural cycles are inherently sustainable and energy-efficient. Permaculture teaches us to use and
imitate natural cycles in a way that makes sense to us.


All our projects tie into each other:

  • the box scheme is starting to be supplied by our food from gardens project;
  • the LETS scheme benefits greatly from the box scheme, as this stimulates trade to a great extent.
  • Also, many people have got to hear about their LETS scheme and join because of the box scheme;
  • the transport system which is needed to deliver the organic food is also used to collect recylables
  • and, increasingly, compostables which are used in the community orchards;
  • our delivery/collection infrastructure is run by pedal-power and so is a visible and practica¡ example of non-polluting transport;
  • the orchards in turn contribute to building community & confidence in disenfranchised neighbourhoods. They have become a place where neighbours meet around positive projects of which they are in control;
  • income from recycling is used to buy trees for the orchard projects (turning paper back into wood!);
  • all of these projects are inherently educational (without the need to resort to preaching) and generate more enthusiasm - and more projects - in turn.
1997 GA Annual Report



1997 has been another very exciting year for Green Adventure.

It is our third year of existence and we have seen the beginnings of some new ventures which are part of our vision for the future of London.

In addition to our 3 part-time National Lottery Charities Board funded staff, we have been able to appoint a new Recycling Co-ordinator. Thanks to Transco for their generous funding of this new post.

The box scheme is healthy. Our two existing orchards are alive and well and more than a dozen gardens have been signed up for the food from gardens scheme. We also ran a successful environmental playscheme for children in the summer.

We are currently negotiating to take over the management of several parks' greenhouses in Lambeth. We are also investigating the conversion of Peckham Rye Lido site in Southwark into a large community orchard.

I would like to thank all of our staff and volunteers for their hard work over the past year and I look forward to the coming year and its challenges.

Martin Smith - Chair Person 1997




We strive (so far very successfully) to be a truly inclusive and open organisation with real community participation and have very strong commitment to (and a good record of) equality of access and opportunity. We are effectively managed by the users of our projects.

We hold Planning and Evaluation Workshops every six months, usually as weekends away (at organic farms, etc.) to which al¡ core people are invited - this includes regular volunteers, staff & M/C.

The first weekend away at the beginning of the year ensures that all new Committee members are fully inducted into the organisation and into their responsibilities as Trustees. This is where the vision for the year ahead and the detailed planning takes shape.

Six months later, another weekend away comes in time to give us all a well-deserved holiday and to evaluate progress and re-adjust targets as needed.
Regular monthly meetings ensure that we keep focused & on target. Our quarterly newsletters and open meetings ensure wider participation in this yearly management cycle.

1997 GA Annual Report



1997 was a brilliant year for Ga.

Our approach has always been to listen and try to make people feel they can be part of all projects from start to finish.

We are always after people who have a passion for al¡ these projects or evern something new, the ideas are all there to be discovered! Please contact us immediately if you have such passions!

Today our communities need as much people power as people are willing to give and I see Green Adventure as a catalyst for change in individuals' lives. At GA we don't want to do it `for you' we want you to do it yourselves and only in this way can real communities be built.

As local people, we know what it right for our communities. We live there after all.

Everyone is welcome to be part of the management of GA, we live in a diverse community and we hope we represent that by the people who are the managers of GA.

I myself started off as a weekly volunteer, but found the energy too contageous: it has been a great challenge for me to find myself contributing to the management work one year later.

I know that in 1998 we will continue to make a positive bright and even magical contribution with everyone we touch, and I hope you will continue to give us the energy, vision and support we need to further our work. Thankyou.

Janine Lai ~ Vice Chair 1997




The Management Committee in 1997 comprised of 8 people of various ages, lifestyles, cultural backgrounds and experience. We have a dynamic mix of very experienced and first-time Committee members. This ensures that a fresh approach to management is combined with the valuable experience and knowledge of more seasoned members. As a result, a lot of practical high-level management training takes place thoughout the year.

We are very proud of the fact that Green Adventure is thus cultivating the next generation of community leaders.

This is from Carol Chapman, Secretary of Green Adventure for `97: Having spent the past 15 years involved in the voluntary sector in Lambeth, the Green Adventure Management Committee is the first one I have felt completely comfortable on. Instead of the domineering and authoritarian behaviour I have observed on other committees, I have found a new and enlightened style of management. The enthusiasm and dynamism in Green Adventure, the real participation and the sense of optimism pervading the project have ensured that I am genuinely excited by the prospect of the next 12 months of Green Adventure's work.

1997 GA Annual Report



The aim of the Green Ventures box scheme is

"to supply local people with fresh, seasonal organically grown vegetables, fruit and other produce as cheaply as possible, and to provide a home delivery service."

Green Ventures has continued to do this in 1997 and much more.

When joining, people are asked whether they can afford the market price (as this helps to subsidise the scheme) and if not they pay wholesale price (and join the LETS scheme if not already on it).

Home delivery also benefits several members who are housebound or parents with young children.

Some members say they need an organic-based diet for health reasons.

All the targets that we had set ourselves for this year have been met, and in some cases exceeded. 

We have trained several members of the scheme in administration and co-ordination, and they have gained valuable work experience as a result.

We now have more members and core volunteers from different ethnic groups, and try to ensure that the produce is appropriate to as wide a range of cultures as possible.

We have been invited to initiate a new box scheme based at a `tenants house' in north Camberwell. Plans for this are now underway. 

A further box scheme, based at Middlesex University, was also kick-started by Green Ventures through a member who lives locally, and is now running independently.

There have been many other spin-offs from the Green Ventures scheme. These include a large influx of members and trading on the local LETS schemes, a steady supply of volunteers to other Green Adventure projects, referral of potential new food-growing projects and contact with other groups in the neighbourhood, etc.

None of the produce we supply has needlessly travelled huge distances. Our local transport infrastructure is still made up of bikes & trailers. This, coupled with supporting organic farming & the recycling collection, is what makes this scheme exemplary as a model of sustainability.

However, the box scheme's most obvious benefit is that of increasing the consumption of fresh fruit & vegetables. The UK has the lowest consumption levels of fruit & veg (organic or otherwise) in Europe. The link between good nutrition and the prevention of sickness and disease in widely acknowledged. The box scheme, as well as being a community enhancing, empowering self-help scheme, benefits both the health of the environment and of people.


Over the past year, Green Ventures has supplied more than 32,000 bags of organically grown vegetables and fruit to over 120 local people.

Our annual turnover for 1997 was approximately £18,000 plus over 4,000 LETS.

This represents a considerable contribution to LETS trading and membership locally (about 50% of the local LETS members are on our box scheme).

A veg box which costs £7 market price is sold to our members at £5 (wholesale cost) + 2 Lets.

A recent survey of our members showed that 37% of our members are unemployed and only 35% are in full time employment. We actively target people on a low income.

Almost 100% of the members who are working on the box scheme are on a low income and able to get free organic produce in exchange for their work.

Over the year 37 members of the scheme have been regularly involved in its running (doing vegetable sorting, delivery or admin).

Each week, up to 12 members help to run the scheme, and are paid in LETS currency or in produce.

In this way, the box scheme is succeeding in its primary aim - making healthy organic produce accessible to people on a low income.


1997 GA Annual Report



BOTH Community Orchards received a BT Environment Week Award this year.
 This enabled us to create ponds!

Leaf Community Garden 

The regular workdays are continuing on a fortnightly basis. As a result of all our activities so far (& thanks to Walworth Garden Farm for providing a team to help with some of the heavy work) the Garden looks really beautiful now. We also now have a patio for a table & chairs beside our herb & perfumed garden, and we are working on a spring & summer meadow. We aim for a good diversity of flora & fauna to create our own `Garden of Eden' in the middle of Peckham. We celebrated summer with several well attended BBQs on site, and our massive pond has now been finished.

Stephanie Lodge, Secretary

Camberwell Green Community Orchard 

a small pond was added this year (thanks to Furniture Aid South Thames for the recycled bath), as well as some more plants & bushes. Change needs to be slow on this very exposed site, as plants need to become
established as much into the soil as into the local look & imagination. The BBQ in the summer was exceptionally busy & lively and the other main event was the Tree Dressing in December this year. Orchard maintenance days continue regularly once a month, with many crafts activities thrown in, and so attract a lot of children and young adults. A bumper crop of blackcurrants & redcurrants surprised us all, as did a very pretty and tasty show of cherries in the summer. Strawberries, gooseberries, blackberries, raspberries and even a few pears, apples & plums were harvested as well as the herbs.


Food From Gardens Project 

This was a new venture this year, prompted by our box scheme members, who started spontaneously offering unused gardens for growing food for the box scheme. With already one orchard over-target, as this is an excellent way to `close the loop' of sustainable food production (& we already deliver food and collect compost) of course we jumped at the opportunity. Thanks to help from the Local Projects Fund for partially funding this project.

We planned to take on ten new gardens - we've actually ended up withthirteen sites, though most of these are still in the preliminary stages, as a lot of work for preparing the ground had to be done. Seven of these are small gardens, four are much larger sites. Some examples:

These are only some of the 13 food-growing sites we are working on, and the ones that we are not yet able to take up due to limited resources are many more: work in an Adventure Playground, one other orchard, several more gardens, two more schools and one other greenhouse site.... the Peckham Lido site wants to be converted into a large walled orchard but we still await Council approval for this particular idea from the local Friends of the nearby park.



Shardaloes Road

When GA first became involved with this garden site it was very overgrown and had been used as a builders' yard and dump for many years. However, Sally and her young son Dan, both dedicated volunteer gardeners, have done a remarkable job with it in a short amount of time, and are looking forward to the first harvest this spring. So far four beds have been prepared and planted with herbs, fruit bushes, broad beans, garlic, peas, cabbage and bol‹ choy.
Cats, foxes and a ridiculously large number of snails have all attempted to hinder progress, but black cotton criss-crossed over the beds is deterring the first two offenders, while protecting vulnerable plants by covering them over with recycled plastic drink bottles seems to be keeping the marauding molluscs at bay. Sally intends to rid the garden of snails by eating them, but although she's sorted out recipes for their preparation and cooking, she hasn't quite built up enough courage to actually go through with it yet. Dan's not too impressed with the idea! When asked what she thought she had gained from volunteering, Sally answered:
"A great sense of achievement. I knew nothing about growing plants before Istarted, and to see all these things Iplanted growing and doing well is really wonderful. "

Hillcourt Road

Anna, a student, lives at this site with her two young children. She contacted GA to see if we could help her produce food organically from her garden. Surrounded by overgrown damson trees and on a slope it was
a damp, shady plot with soil being washed towards the house every time it rained. With the help of Henry, a local volunteer, the trees have been drastically reduced in height, and will be allowed to grow back as a hedge. The trunks and larger branches that were removed are being used to construct retaining walls so the garden can be terraced, while the smaller stuff is being chipped and used as a mulch.
An additional result from working on the garden is that Anna has made friends with her upstairs neighbour, who had previously been suspicious and wary of her and the children. As he is in his late eighties he can no longer work on his own garden, which is to the back of Anna's, and has watched what was once his pride and joy become overgrown with bindweed and brambles. However, Anna and Henry have cleared it and are replanting with fruit bushes and vegetables. The neighbour now regularly comes out to chat to them while they're working.
Henry says that he's :"excited about the idea of being able to eat food that I've grown myself."

Windlass Place

This is a very large area of rough ground adjoining an allotment site on the Pepys Estate, Deptford, which has kindly been given to us by Lewisham Council. It's overgrown with couch grass and brambles and has been used as a rubbish dump by locals. With the help of Bernard and Jonathon work has started, clearing ground and planting fruit bushes.
It is intended for this site to become a model organic vegetable plot, with a small orchard and wildlife garden, proving that any urban waste ground can be made productive, and also to provide an amenity for local people.

John Ruskin Nursery School

We were approached by the teacher of this local nursery school, who'd heard about us through a member of the Green Ventures box scheme. She needed help setting up a small vegetable garden with the children in the grounds of the school. On our initial visits, we helped prepare the ground and supplied starter plants (giant pumpkins & tomatoes) along with some much needed manure. Our task was then to find one or more volunteers to work on the garden together with the children.
As luck would have it, the ideal volunteer soon turned up at the office in the shape of Cleopatra. Cleo had worked as a gardener for years, as well as working with children on environmental projects, and was keen to further her experience. She has been working alongside the teacher for the past few months, lately joined by Pip.

Kennington Park Greenhouse

We helped local residents to save this greenhouse from the bulldozers and now the idea of turning this site into a Community Garden Centre is slowly taking shape. After a great deal of negotiations around the design of the surrounding area and lengthy consultations with residents, and having drawn up a detailed wildlife survey (thanks to Storm Poorun) our volunteer Solicitor, Lucy Sturrock, of Field Fisher and Waterhouse for essential work to get the lease sorted out with Lambeth Council. The groundwork has been laid.

Brockwell Park Greenhouse Site

Again, we became involved in this project at the request of local people, and this also is a huge site with vast potential. We drew up the Business Plan for this to become a Community Environmental Centre in consultation with local groups, and started to apply for funding for this exciting inner-city regeneration project. Many keen volunteers have since come forward very much wanting to make this dream come true.
1997 GA Annual Report



Thanks to Catherine Pearce and Elizabeth Omiteru who explored our recycling interest in a more systematic way at the beginning of this year. Their work (initially to get Green Adventure to sponsor recycling banks locally) and interest revealed a great deal of untapped potential in this area:

Composting: the box scheme delivery volunteers also collect compost from the households that we deliver organic fruit & veg to. This is then taken to our community orchards.
Paper & aluminium recycling: this was started by the young people who planted our first community orchard, in order to fundraise for more trees and bushes. We found that there is a lot of demand for door-to-door collection on local estates.
Jumble sales: this is good recycling and also good fundraising for us.
Festivals Recycling: To set up a community business doing waste clearance and recycling for summer park festivals & other such public gatherings.

Efficient use of resources has to be a key component in developing sustainable local economies. We were inspired by calls from the community to look for additional funding to further these possibilities.


Thanks to Transco & their Grassroots Environmental Action fund, in October of this year we were able to employ a Recycling Co-ordinator for 10 months 1 day per week which is, we hope, a start of something exciting.

We have already helped one local Tenants' Association to set up the collection banks they wanted on their estate, and we are investigating others.

One of the schemes that we have already implemented is to manufacture cycle trailers from recycled materials. Plenty of waste wood, metal and bits of scrap are used as raw materials. We know there is a market as we are in touch with the London Cycling Campaign. 
At the time of writing, Peter Dunnett, one of our volunteers, is now on the verge of manufacturing these, and finding out that the realities of turning used materials into usable items is a lot more interesting than at first suspected! This is the seed of a small community business.

We are investigating more of these exciting employment-creation ideas and we look forward to more of these successes in the future. 
Thanks to Southwark Council for a £260 donation which financed the beginnings of this project, enabling us to do much more than just purchase one trailer. This amount will go towards producing the prototype which will then be used for recycling collection and for our box scheme delivery.

1997 GA Annual Report



This summer we organised our first Play scheme. Our aim was to"Mobilise the vision, courage and passion of youth towards sustainability".

Most days were taken up by trips of various kinds. We did all this and more in just two weeks!

Thanks to Southwark Council, whose funding covered the essential core costs of the Play scheme: workers' wages, volunteers expenses and some materials costs.

Thanks also to Camberwell Cash Converters, Andrews Motor Mechanics and Howard Bros. DIY shop for their generous donations.

Thanks especially to our volunteers, without whom the play scheme could not have taken place.




  • We visited the Rubbish Dump, a child-centred interactive venue designed to give reasons for recycling and reducing consumer waste. The children had the chance to make their own new paper from old.
  • We were passing through Burgess Park on the day after the Southwark Show Festival. The park was strewn with drinks cans. The children, equipped with plastic bags, quickly learned to separate aluminium from steel. We took the cans to the local scrap metal merchant who paid us £7. This helped to finance the end of play scheme party and gave the children an important lesson in the practicability of recycling.
  • We took the children on a guided tour of a Thames Water plant in Walthamstow called The Copper mills. We saw the high-tech control room and the filter beds. The children learned how water is cleaned and how it is recycled back to our kitchen taps.
  • We spent some time teaching children how to sprout their own beans and how to make hummus.
  • We also did some food-tasting and discussed relevant issues like food miles and diet.
  • We visited the Peckham Canal site, Sydenham Woods and the Surrey Docks Farm.


1997 GA Annual Report



These are some of the organisations we have helped in the last year:

  • LETS Link London has moved huge strides in 1997 towards becoming a legally constituted group, recruiting a management committee and this summer saw the first ever London LETS Link Conference.
  • LETS Link UK has likewise now constituted, and progressed to the point of obtaining some core funding for it's national work.
    Both these important organisations have done crucial work for years on virtually no funding, fuelled by the dedication of a few visionary people.
  • The box scheme has continued to be a very effective outreach source for local schemes and many new members have joined in this way.
  • We contributed to a documentary on LETS earlier this year.



1997 GA Annual Report



Green Adventure was instrumental in setting up this new umbrella organisation which to date comprises of 18 community groups in the Oval area interested in furthering these aims:

  • To help develop & implement regeneration proposals for the Kennington Oval area and surrounds.
  • To help members of the local community become more actively involved in regeneration proposals for the area.
  • To ensure that regeneration proposals contribute to sustainable development by meeting the needs of the local community without endangering the well-being of the natural world and the living conditions of other people, now or in the future.
  • To actively encourage the inclusion of under-represented groups in the community, including young people, Black people, members of ethnic minority groups and disabled people.

We feel proud of our input in shaping this agenda. We are also proud of the ORP for having organised so many community groups into preparing a Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) bid this year.

Learning from the lessons of Brixton Challenge and other SRB projects, the keystone of the scheme is to establish the consultation connection with local people before the development of regeneration proposals.



This is the main project we are involved in under the ORP scheme.

It is an exciting proposal to convert a semi-derelict warehouse into a energy efficient community centre, in partnership with other organisations. This will be a flagship project for Lambeth and, if all goes well, our new home!

In May we had an open day at the site and received feedback and suggestions from local residents.

In September we submitted a detailed proposal to the ORP.

Thanks to Architects Peter Deakins for having done extensive work for this project and a detailed outline presentation brochure is available on request.

1997 GA Annual Report

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