This autumn TTT is delighted to be able to contribute to events to share our learning from Rooting in Tooting (our joint project with the refugee and asylum seeker community served by CARAS)
It’s brilliant to be meeting new people and groups, and sharing in different ways: thank you for the invitations!
We certainly don’t ‘have all the answers’ but we would like to join others in asking questions and sharing practice.

There are 4 very diverse autumn 2016 events where we’re celebrating or telling the Rooting in Tooting story:

1 The Royal Horticultural Society OneRHS managers conference

                  Credit: RHS / Julian Weigall

CARAS & TTT were honoured to be the only outside speakers at this event for 175 RHS managers. We had fascinating discussions about how the RHS can most effectively engage with community projects.

2 Team London Volunteer Awards 2016
TTT is thrilled to be on the awards shortlist in the Greening & Cleaning category of the Awards. We’ll be joining other voluntary groups for the ceremony. Here’s the Mayor’s tweet on Monday morning: @MayorofLondon @SadiqKhan will celebrate the capital’s volunteering heroes at tonight’s #TeamLdnAwards at City Hall.


3 Cause2Create: “where we find specific, targeted solutions to challenges posed by the refugee crisis”
We’re invited to Cause2Create’s ‘hack’ weekend. “We know we’re not going to solve the refugee crisis in one weekend, but we can explore some of the specific challenges and develop scalable and actionable solutions.”

4 International Volunteering Conference at City Hall, celebrating London as European Volunteering Capital 2016
CARAS & TTT are co-facilitating one of the conference workshops in December. Joining in with the Greek volunteering NGO Ethelon, the aim is to explore training and community engagement aspects of working well with refugees. What benefits do both refugees and communities experience when working together?
During the year we also:

  • Explored the project in an Outdoor Learning workshop at the Transition Network International Conference in Sept ’15 (linked to experience with Gatton School, NCS The Challenge, Tooting Field Days & the Tooting Community Garden).
  • Described the project at the Transition Network Day in Paris alongside the COP 21 climate change talks in December ’15.

Interesting learning about project management is that none of these events was specifically planned when we started out in spring 2015. In the project plan we agreed that we wanted to share learning, and then be ready for serendipity and emerging opportunity.

It was good luck and being flexible that we were able to link refugee Youth Club young people with Border Control, the concept garden at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show

Rooting in Tooting has involved over 20 local individuals who freely gave their time and experience alongside CARAS staff and volunteers: thank you all!
We also want to say a big thank-you to two project funders:

  • The Royal Horticultural Society’s Greening Grey Britain Campaign gave us materials and expert advice, and opened doors to new opportunities to add value to the project
  • Sir Walter St John’s Educational Charity voted funds which helped us recognise the contributions of key session facilitators, and paid for art materials

Finally – you will have spotted that we now have a new project with refugees and asylum-seekers under development: a 3-way partnership called Gardens of Refuge.

We’re asking for public votes from our friends and supporters (and their friends!) for funding via the Aviva Community Fund. 

All the details are here, and thank you so much if you can take the time to register and vote for the project!