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In Conversation With: Global Generation

Whilst many of us are working or sheltering at home, there are a number of people working hard to keep Regent’s Place going. We wanted to take a moment to share their experiences, as well as the experiences of those who are looking after the people who need it most in our community, ensuring they are supported, both during lockdown and beyond. 

Usually based at the Urban Campsite in Regent’s Place, Global Generation is uniting the community with the environment, digitally, during lockdown. We caught up with Silvia Pedretti and Dr Jane Riddiford to learn more and get their top gardening tips.

What is your organisation called and what does it do?
Working with young people, families and businesses, Global Generation is an educational charity working to connect people with the natural world through hands-on and value-based activities. In short, we describe this as ‘growing food, growing people, growing community for a better world.’

What are the biggest challenges your organisation faces – now and in the coming years?
Usually based in gardens and outdoor spaces, the biggest challenge right now is finding new creative ways to engage digitally and to adapt our work to these new circumstances. We’re currently running online youth sessions and increasing our food growing efforts at the nearby Story Garden, meaning we can provide fresh healthy vegetables to vulnerable local families. 

What are your top tips to keep motivated and have fun at home?
We’ve created ‘The Stay at Home Garden’, which is packed with fun activities, recipes and information on the healing powers of plants. 

Which plants do you recommend novice gardeners grow in their homes?
All you need is a sunny windowsill, and you can grow from scraps: lettuce, celery, onions and fennel for example. Place the base on a saucer topped up with water and new shoots will appear. They are great in salad and very nutritious. 

What has the Covid-19 crisis taught you?
We’ve learnt that it is possible to connect with both the natural world and our community in a meaningful way, through an online platform. 

We’ve been inspired by other amazing organisations, driven by their love for the community, who want to support it despite the challenges lockdown brings. 
I believe if we are creative enough, if we allow nature to inspire us, we can always find ways of working together to create a better world for young people.

What are your hopes for the future? 
That this crisis acts as an opportunity to re-imagine our future: the way we work, travel, eat, collaborate and approach the natural world. 
It has been great to see red kites and hawks flying over London again and hearing stories of other wildlife returning to the city. Maybe, as humankind, we will all learn to slow down a bit and honour our planet. 

What’s your relationship with Regent’s Place? 
Regent’s Place has helped us from the beginning by believing that there was space for an environmental organisation in the neighbourhood. 

We’re based on the campus on an indoor Urban Campsite and thanks to the financial support of Regent’s Place, we run youth leadership programmes for local young people as well as workshops and volunteering opportunities for primary schools, families and businesses.  

Our garden team looks after some of the planting in the public areas of Regent’s Place and a Gantry Garden in the middle of the construction site at 1 Triton Square.

Find out more about Global Generation here

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