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Community enterprise founder wants to help the unemployed in Newham

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 February 2017

Natalie Szarek

Natalie Szarek

Archant

Community enterprise founder, Natalie Szarek, wants to continue to help unemployed adults gain experience.

Natalie, of Upton Lane, Upton Park, originally started Audacious Veg last year, with the idea of using the outdoors and food market to create employment, volunteering and community events.

The 29-year-old, who studied in America, has big plans for the community garden, in Hainault, Redbridge, including day courses, more volunteer activities and plenty more work experience and training courses this year.

“I used to work at a community garden and just saw how much of a positive impact it had on people’s lifes,” she explained.

“It was just seeing the rise of the local food scene and really wanting to make sure the food being grown in London was having an impact on the people as well.”

The enterprise grows edible flowers, gourmet greens, and bee-friendly blossoms to sell on to some of the capital’s restaurant and urban pop-up market stalls.

“We work closely with the Dusty Knuckle Bakery, who also offer training and employment to young people, and we also have a partnership with a florist called F Bomb.”

Natalie and her team offer multiple training programmes for people who have dropped out of school, struggling to find work or are just looking how to grow sustainably.

“We’re going to be offering one day courses, as lots of people want to learn how to grow food in their own gardens and this is an opportunity for them to do that,” she said.

“The youngsters we often work with want to be gardeners, landscapers or be outside, so most of the time getting them outdoors, you get the best out of them.”

The day courses will teach people to design edible gardens, cook with edible flowers and do urban composting, while Natalie is also looking for more regular volunteers.

“Being outdoors and working outdoors is incredibly fulfilling,” she added.

Visit audaciousveg.org to find out more about the garden and their courses.


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