Donation helps Britain’s oldest urban farm teach healthy cooking to London residents


Britain’s oldest urban farm has received a donation to help fund much-needed free community cookery classes in a bid to tackle obesity and poor nutrition in London.

Kentish Town City Farm received £1,000 from Persimmon Homes North London through the regional housebuilder’s monthly Community Champions scheme. Each month, the regional business donates up to £2,000 to community groups.

The urban farm, in Cressfield Close, says the money will provide the ingredients for 50 classes over the next 12 months, which are aimed at children and families.

Gus Alston, CEO of Kentish Town City Farm, said: “We teach children and families how to cook healthy, low-cost meals and gain confidence in the kitchen. The fun accessible classes give people the life skills needed to combat health problems such as obesity, poor nutrition and low levels of physical activity.

“The classes attract families living in the housing estates that surround our urban farm. In our ward, 46 per cent of households live in overcrowded social housing and, as a result of social deprivation, 26 per cent of Year 6 children in our neighbourhood are classified as obese. The farm setting means they can cook with vegetables, fruit, eggs and herbs from the farm, while we can also teach children about where food comes from.

“We carry out our own fundraising, and the classes are taught by a resident who started off by teaching her neighbours how to cook, so we cannot thank Persimmon Homes enough for this extra boost.”

Damian Seddon, director-in-charge at Persimmon Homes North London, said: “We are delighted to be able to support the Kentish Town City Farm in this way as they provide people with an essential life skill.”