Boris Johnson and Sebastian Coe give Plaistow Memorial Community Church green grant

London Mayor Boris Johnson and Olympics boss Sebastian Coe presented Plaistow’s Memorial Community Church with a green-fingered grant to start a community growing space.

On Thursday (Feb 23), the Mayor and chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) gave the church on Barking Road a cheque for �1,500 as part of the Grow for Gold scheme.

Philippa King, the church’s development manager, and Alice Beckinsdale, a volunteer who will manage the garden, received the funding at Sutton Community Farm where they had their photos taken with the World’s Biggest Spade.

As part of their prize, the representatives from the church were able to take home a normal-sized version of the spade.

Philippa said: “We are planning on creating a small garden in an outside area at the back of the church building, and growing vegetables to use in a healthy cooking/eating project we’d call NOSH - after the weekly meal Elsie Lewis organised many years ago at the church.

“The idea is to provide a very low-cost, healthy meal with recipes, healthy eating tips and cooking sessions to help people stretch their food budgets to cook filling and nutritious meals at home.

“This came about because we’re aware of many people struggling in the difficult economic climate.”

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The Memorial Community Church had planned to acquire recycled skip bags and start growing in a small way this spring but now they are able to buy some equipment and seeds.

The Grow for Gold scheme was organised by Captial Growth to support London growing spaces and offers free training to get people started.