• SGN Press release


    Community project forges ahead with help from Orpington volunteers


    13 October 2017


    The SGN team from left: Jamie Kingdon, Dave Simmons, Dan Mills, Neil Baxter, Gina Burgess, Michelle Goodburn, Wes Goldwin, Glenn Miller and Steve Martin take a break from their work.


    A community project in South East London, which is geared towards increasing the confidence, skills and wellbeing of local residents, has moved a step closer to its launch with a helping hand from a team of our volunteers. 

    Edible Rotherhithe is aiming to transform a vacant area of land at the rear of a social housing estate into a thriving new community space. The project is geared towards supporting the well-being of local residents through carpentry, arts and crafts, and food-growing activities, so they feel able to access local training, employment and other developmental opportunities.  

    Nine volunteers from our Southern Risers depot in St Mary Cray pitched in to help at the project site near the Silverlock Estate in Rotherhithe. There they levelled off and cleared an overgrown area to make way for a new polytunnel, and painted a 20’ by 8’ shipping container which will be converted into a ceramics workshop. 

    Our team heard about Edible Rotherhithe from the local tenants’ and residents’ association (TRA) when they were in the planning stages for a project to renew gas risers in Millender Walk. 

    Project Manager Steve Martin explained: “We met with the TRA to explain what the work would involve and they told us we would need to take into account the Edible Rotherhithe project, which backs onto the estate.

    “Our company gives everyone a day each year to make a difference in their local community, so when we met with Christina, the CEO of Edible Rotherhithe, and heard about her plans, we asked if there was anything we could do to help the project get off the ground.   

    “I think Christina and her team were quite surprised at how much we managed to get done in a single day. We also enlisted the help of three of our contractors, GH Preston, K&S Pipe Contractors and Actionshake Limited, who donated the paint and paintbrushes as well as other materials and ducting, removed all the weeds we had cleared from the site and gave us the use of a digger free of charge for the day.”

    Christina Wheatley from Edible Rotherhithe said: “The team from SGN were absolutely wonderful. Right from our first meeting when they came to talk to us about the gas riser work, their main concern was to minimise its impact on our project.    

    “The work they did to level out and clear the area that was overgrown with weeds would’ve taken four of us three whole days on our own, so it was a massive help to the project.”