Peckham school children grow their own veg in a mission to live healthier lifestyles


innocent, Europe’s favourite healthy little drinks brand, has helped 1.4 million children to grow their own veg after four years of the Big Grow initiative. With 9 out of 10 young people not getting their 5 a day, innocent is on a mission to change this.

This year, children from a quarter of all primary schools in the UK took part and grew a staggering amount of fruit and vegetables; 40,000 peas have sprouted, 40,000 tomatoes have grown, and 40,000 stems of cress have shot up. In other words, kids have grown a whopping 21m centimetres of cress – the same height as 17,500 double decker buses on top of each other.

Camelot Primary School in Peckham who took part in the initiative welcomed it saying: “The children were very excited, and the gardening club are very enthusiastic. The children are willing to try more things.”

Since its inception in 2016, the innocent Big Grow has built on its partnership with schools, expanding the programme by reaching children direct to their homes and through supermarket partnerships including Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

The Big Grow campaign aims to educate kids on where their food comes from, encouraging them to become real ‘grow-it-alls’. Research shows that kids who grow their own veg are much more likely to eat fruit and veg and will continue with healthy eating habits for the rest of their lives.

Sim Viney, Brand Manager at innocent, said: “It’s so important to us to inspire young people to eat well and live a healthy lifestyle. The Big Grow is an initiative we love doing and we’ve got big plans to make it even bigger in the coming years. We are thrilled that the last four years have been so successful. We feel the campaign has taken root and we hope by 2022, we will have got 3,000,000 children to grow their own fruit and veg.”

This year’s initiative was available in schools up and down the nation and the free ‘Grow Your Own’ home kits – distributed through Waitrose and Ocado – meant that parents could get in on the growing action too.