A Taste of Health Cookery Clubs

Are you interested in learning some new recipes, making new friends and becoming healthier to boot?

If so, then the cookery clubs are for you!

GCDA run 50, 5-week Community Cookery Clubs each year throughout the borough that are open to the public. The clubs run in all different parts of the borough in community venues and are open to all.

The focus is on making small changes that can have a big impact on your health such as measuring your salt and oil so you can start reducing it, or finding easy ways to try to increase your fruit and vegetable intake, making simple swaps to help reduce the amount of sugar you consume and loads of tips and ideas to help reduce waste and save money. All the ingredients and equipment are included and participants who attend at least 4 of the 5 weeks will receive a fabulous recipe book to help them continue their journey at home.

Although the clubs do focus on healthy eating messages, they’re really about informing people and giving people the skills and knowledge to make choices themselves. But, the best thing is that becoming healthier is just ONE of the benefits. Participants report many great benefits from attending the clubs including meeting new people, being more social and becoming more active.

To find out more or to book, please call 0800 470 4831 to find your nearest venue.

Alternatively, click here to see the next round of venues, days and times.

What you need to know:

  • The cookery clubs are free!
  • They run for 5 weeks (2 ½ hours per week) – see here for details
  • They include a week learning how to grow food
  • They are open to everyone, from complete beginners to experienced cooks
  • All equipment, ingredients and aprons are provided
  • They are a great way to meet new people
  • You can learn about healthy eating and practical cooking skills
  • Participants will receive a free cookery book on completion of the course
  • You must book a place on the course 0800 470 4831


About Projects Uncategorised

The Superzones project would like your opinion

Having healthy spaces and neighbourhoods are vital to giving children the best start in life and reducing health inequalities. We know that being exposed to an unhealthy environment as a child can have a lasting impact on mental health, obesity, educational achievement and long-term conditions.

Greenwich is one of 13 London boroughs taking ground-breaking action to improve the environment in which our children and young people grow up, through a new project called ‘Superzones’. This is a zone around a school – around a 5-10 minute walk,– where the aim is to create healthier and safer places for London’s children and young people to live, learn and play.


As part of the Superzones development around Hawksmoor Primary School in Thamesmead there is some engagement work taking part in the area, in the form of a short online survey.

If you currently live, work, or volunteer in Thamesmead please share your thoughts on what makes it harder for children and families to lead a healthy lifestyle and how the Superzones should develop.

If you can spare five minutes please complete this short survey and let us know your views:

Hints and Tips Projects Uncategorised

Support getting food in Greenwich

With rising living costs, especially fuel and accommodation, food is often the part of the budget that gets cut. Many people, both in and out of work, are finding it increasingly difficult to stretch the pounds to pay for decent, nutritious food and are resorting to cheaper, poor quality food that fills us, but doesn’t provide the nutrients we need.  The impact of Universal Credit is making this worse for many, forcing people to make difficult decisions about how to spend their money.

We think this situation is an outrage; no one should be going hungry in 2018 in a wealthy country like the UK.  At Good Food in Greenwich we are working to deliver an action plan to tackle food poverty, but many of these changes will take time. In the meantime, make sure you are getting everything you’re entitled to – have a look at our information sheet to find out what support is out there.  If you’re struggling to feed yourself or your family, or you know someone who is, there are some options out there. We’ve created a list of lunch clubs that provide a hot meal either free or at a low cost.  They are all on the map below – just click on one to find out more.  This is followed by some other information to help you get what you need.


Healthy Start Vouchers

This scheme entitles pregnant women, infants and young children in low-income families to free fruit, veg and milk.  Pregnant women and those with children under four years old can get one £3.10 voucher per week and children under one year old can get £6.20 per week.  You’ll need to fill in an application form, but it’s really easy and they’re available from your local Children’s Centre or a member of your local midwifery or health visiting team. Alternatively, you can download a copy from the website or contact 0345 607 682.  You can also use your Healthy Start vouchers at Woolwich Market fruit and veg stalls.


Fruit and Veg Stalls

There are 7 fruit and veg stalls across the borough where you can purchase great quality, affordable fruit and veg – at wholesale prices!

These stalls also accept Healthy Start vouchers

These stalls are run on Tuesdays at the following locations:


Free School Meals

Free school meals are available to ALL children in reception and years 1 & 2.  School meals are cooked in line with nutritional guidelines, so you know your child will be getting a wholesome, healthy and nutritious meal at lunchtime.  After year 2, your child may still be eligible to free school meals if you are in receipt of any benefits.  For more information visit the Council website


Cookery Clubs

Cooking from scratch can help save money on a food budget.  You can cook in bulk and freeze for another day

and this helps reduce costs of electricity and food!  If you’re not confident in the kitchen, or feel that you’d like to brush up on your skills, or just learn some new ones, GCDA run free 5-week cookery clubs throughout the borough all year round.  They are completely free and offer an opportunity to come together with others to learn about and how to make healthy, delicious food. All ingredients are provided and at the end of it you receive a free recipe book.  For more information and the latest list of clubs, visit our Cookery Club page

And if you want more help shopping well to save money then download our tips here

Food Banks

If you are struggling to get food due to a crisis, you can get a referral to the foodbank and pick up food from there.  For more information about accessing food banks and to find out how to get referred, visit their website

Help with Fuel Costs

Paying for heating your house, or even putting the oven on to cook some dinner can be a real challenge with rising costs and ridiculous rates.  But don’t despair – help is out there with South East London Community Energy (SELCE). They are  helping people who are currently struggling to keep their homes warm in winter by providing advice and support through our pop-up energy advice cafes.

Live Well Line – someone to talk to!

But, if you just want to pick up the phone and talk to someone, you can do that too!  Call the Live Well Line on 0800 4704831 to chat to someone about any of these things that are worrying you and they will be able to help


Volunteering with GCDA

Whether you’re interested in food, gardening, health or business, GCDA would love you to get involved in our many programmes across Greenwich, Lewisham and further afield.  We run cookery clubs, skills workshops, market stalls and growing projects as well as co-ordinate the Good Food in Greenwich partnership, the Lewisham Food Partnership, the BE Inspired programme in Lewisham and the Healthier Catering Commitment.

With so much going on, there are loads of opportunities to do something, and not only will you benefit others but hopefully you’ll learn new skills yourself and meet a bunch of friendly, like-minded people! We’re particularly interested in meeting anyone who’d like to volunteer on food-based projects, help us conduct research, or even lend us a hand with our communications. 

But, if you’d just like to know more, then come along, have something delicious to eat, meet the team and hear other volunteers talk about their experiences. We’d love to have you on board!

Below is a list of all the opportunities we have with links to more information about what they entail.  If you’re interested in getting involved, please contact or the contact on the linked sheets below





Projects Uncategorised

Growing Greenwich!

Growing Greenwich is trying to build a network of growing sites across the borough!

GCDA initially started growing to to support Greenwich residents using the therapeutic powers of gardening to help people regain confidence, build self-esteem and motivation as well as creating new social networks.  We know the immense benefits of growing including improving physical and mental well being, community cohesion, tackling social isolation and more.  GCDA now supports 5 sites across the borough and each week local residents can attend to try a range of gardening activities from seed sowing to planting, maintaining and managing herbs, shrubs, flowers soft fruit bushes, vegetables and fruit trees throughout the seasons, with the support and guidance of GCDA’s community gardeners and volunteers.  When the weather is inclement, sessions are held indoors to discuss topics related to the site and gardening, plants and the natural world in general.  For information about where you can go – see our GCDA Community Garden Sites Flyer

There are also many other growing sites in the borough and you can use our map below to find out more.  Do please check with the site before turning up though!

We’re always trying to grow this map, so if you have a site that’s not listed, or would like to update anything, please email with any info you have.

We also want to host regular network events so we can all get together and build on the amazing work being done, and support others to get involved too.

To take part in the Gardening for Health project please contact: Kevin Godby  on 020 8269 4880 or email Kevin on 

Resources & Funding

There are loads of resources available to growers and amazing national sites that we recommend.  Check out the following:


They use gardening to bring about positive changes in the lives of people living with disabilities or ill health, or who are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable. Loads of information and support about growing including training programmes, and you can download their pack on how to set up a community garden for people affected by mental ill health here

Capital Growth; Loads of resources and downloadable guides. They also run the Big Dig, Open Gardens

Food Growing Schools

Grow Veg: How to set up a school garden

Royal Horticultural Society, School Gardening

Countryside Classroom

Farm Garden – There’s an incredible resource from the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens on how to start a growing site – you can download it here

The Charlton and Blackheath Amateur Horticultural Society – monthly meet ups at Charlton House, the society aims to make the monthly meetings sociable occasions and refreshments are served to allow members to mingle and exchange gardening tips and ideas. They meet at 7.30 on the 3rd Monday of each month. For more information see here 

For info on funding, you can download a list of potential funders here

GCDA supported Food Growing Sites across the borough

GoodGym Greenwich


How Greenwich Residents are using their legs to help the community

Everyone wants to get fit these days, and rightly so, so why not harness all that energy into doing social good? That’s just what GoodGym are up to.

GoodGym is a brand new way to get fit while helping the local community. Instead of running nowhere on treadmills or lifting weights that don’t need lifting, Goodgym members run to do good and help others. They combine running with physical tasks (such as gardening, painting or lifting) which help out a local organisation or charity.

Some runners also visit isolated older members of the community as part of their weekly workouts in an intergenerational befriending scheme proven to reduce loneliness and improve wellbeing.

GoodGym Greenwich meet up every Wednesday at 6.45pm at the Queen Anne Building at the University, you can sign up to the runs here or contact the Greenwich trainer for more information.

Projects Uncategorised

Foraging Walks!

Good Food in Greenwich is delighted to support Greenwich Get Walking with a new twist during Foraging Fortnight this November. See familiar places in a different light as you learn to recognise some of the edible plants that are growing all around you – including some that were eaten by your distant ancestors! Foraging Fortnight is delivered by Greenwich Get Walking! in partnership with GCDA and aims to get people out and about whilst learning a thing or 2 about the abundance of delicious edible plants on our doorsteps.

If you’d like to take part, please contact Ollie Golding, Healthy Walks Coordinator on 07972 668657 or


Or turn up and join in at the following locations:

  • Wednesday 11th November – Mottingham: Meet outside Mottingham Station, Platform 1, Station Approach, Court Road, SE9 4EW at 10.00am
  • Monday 16th November – Eltham: Meet at Eltham Park South Café, Glenesk Road, Eltham, SE9 1AG at 9.45am
  • Thursday 19th November – Slade: Meet outside the Slade Library, Erindale,Plumstead, SE18 2QQ at 9.30am
  • Monday 23rd November – Eltham: Meet at Eltham Park South Café, Glenesk Road, Eltham, SE9 1AG at 9.45am
  • Wednesday 25th November – Mottingham: Meet outside Mottingham Station, Platform 1, Station Approach, Court Road, SE9 4EW at 10.00am
  • Thursday 26th November – Slade: Meet outside the Slade Library, Erindale, Plumstead, SE18 2QQ at 9.30am
Projects Uncategorised

Do you have a glut of fruit? Then get gleaning!

What is it? The gleaning network started in 2012 to coordinate volunteers, farmers and food redistribution charities in order to salvage thousands of tonnes of wasted fresh fruit and vegetables on farms every year across the UK and Europe. This then gets directed to people in need, to provide them with perfectly good and nutritious food. Since this project has started the gleaning network has managed to glean over 110 tonnes of produce, equal to over a million portions of fruit and vegetables. They have also had over 500 volunteers across 56 gleaning days, all helping to make this fantastic movement work.

Apples falling from trees

Fruit and vegetables rank at the top of the list as the most wasted food in the UK. An estimated 30-50% of food is wasted globally, with 20% of fruit and vegetables grown in Europe lost at farm level. 4600 KILOCALORIES per day of food are harvested for every person on the planet; of these, only around 2000 on average are eaten – more than half of it is lost on the way!

What can you do??  Good Food in Greenwich has as one of it’s aims the mission to tackle this issue by asking people to collect any unwanted fruit and vegetables such as apples and plums, and we’ll process them into jams and chutneys. We are looking for anyone who may have a glut of these in their garden or allotment that can help us not only reduce food wastage but also provide great produce that is sourced locally. As a thank you, you will also receive a jar or 2 (or more!) of your produce.

Jam made from foraged fruit!

Collection: You can bring your fruit and vegetables to Woolwich Common Community Centre or GCDA for us to collect, or we can come and collect it from you. If you would like to get involved, please get in touch at:

Ways you can help – Join our gleaning network and let us know where you see fruit going to waste, or you can spread the word to promote this project. – Sign the Food Waste Pledge and the GoodFig Charter to fight for change. – Cut down on food waste at home with some fantastic tips at Love Food Hate Waste.

If you’re interested in getting more involved, then check out the Abundance Handbook produced by the amazing Abundance Network – a wealth of information about how, when and where to pick.

Contact Details:

Woolwich Common Community Centre, 16 Leslie Smith Square, London, SE18 4DW

GCDA, Unit 6, Greenwich Centre Business Park, 53 Norman Road, London, SE10 9QF

Projects Uncategorised

Dare to Dream Garden

clockhouseThe Dare to Dream Garden, located behind the Clockhouse was designed in consultation with local residents who then helped to build it in 2014.

There are 10 communal raised beds (6 large, 4 small) on the site, 2 pergolas and a trellis along the back wall which will allow a variety of plants to be grown. There are a number of newly planted fruit trees and bushes as well as mixed planting along the front of the plot alongside the Clockhouse.  An informal seating area and benches allow everyone to enjoy the experience of sitting and relaxing in the garden.


Volunteers on the site are introduced to food growing skills such as seed sowing, transplanting, propogation and soil management.


Sessions run on Tuesdays 2 – 4 pm and are free to attend. For further details contact

Woolwich Dockyard

Defiance Walk

Woolwich Dockyard