Cooking, growing, sewing, singing, dancing, making or mending and more: the community of Tooting has an abundance of skills and talents which also make us stronger together.  On 16th March 2024 we hosted our first Tooting Can… Celebratory Extravaganza.

Dive into our blog below telling the story of the day (with ‘how to’ links and delicious recipes!)

Check out our slide show of the day!

Our Sewing and Sanctuary project team showed us what we can do with textiles! We had a go at mending, embellishing and making beautiful garments, bags and cushions out of repurposed textiles – and learnt Japanese sashiko and boro stitching!

Instructions for sashiko and boro stitching

Susan showed us to make your own washing powder –  it’s easier than you would think, much kinder to the environment ( it uses only natural ingredients) and much kinder on your clothes.

Click here to find out make your own washing powder and other sustainable cleaning products.

We were joined by ace football coach Brad from AFC Wimbledon in a special outdoor session to learn footie skills. AFC Wimbledon coach the local Women’s Walking Football team at Fishponds Fields (Susie from the team is taking a kick in the pic!). After sharing his skills Brad went on to try his hand at some of the other skills on offer!

Mita bought a selection of saris and showed us how to wrap them – we topped off our gorgeous outfits with bindis. Doesn’t everyone look fabulous!

The team at Sajna Hair & Beauty sent a fantastic henna artist to show us how to create wonderful designs – it was amazing to watch them deepen in colour over the week – we got lots of compliments!

Dermot from our regular Restart fixing and mending sessions invited us to Get Up Close with a Remote – showing us how to test, open up and fix common remote control problems from spilt drinks to leaky batteries. All ages were welcome to have a go!

We had a lot of fun at the beguni workshop making aubergine fritters. Participants were able to be as involved as they wanted to be. Some wanted to watch the cooking process, others prepared the beguni from start to finish until they were on the plate!

Conversations were shared about cooking in different cultures, which enabled people to connect with each other. And at the end – a delicious snack to share with all the other participants! 

Try your own with Resina’s delicious recipe.

To complement the wonderful beguni, Naomi rustled up gorgeous nettle soup with foraged nettles and wild garlic – head to her blog Grow Forage Cook for the recipe and much more!

To round of our menu Lucy showed us how to make a plant based chocolate mousse – with only three simple ingredients and a fridge to prepare it – find the recipe here.

The team from Tooting Community Garden shared seeds and gardening tips – participants of all ages planted up beans and herbs in home-made newspaper seed pots (instructions here!)

All are welcome to join regular sessions at the community garden – find out more here.

Jeni and Gemma from Living Communities led a fantastic collaging workship – the beginnings of a vast community collage to help explore What Makes Tooting, Tooting?

You can see some of the results on their Instagram at the link here.

Last ….. by no means least! ….. Ranjit bought a selection of musical instruments to try out.

Not only that, he bought a big dhol and led a parade of performers to announce our delicious shared feast – followed by a parade of our gorgeous sari wearers!

Finally we gathered together in a sharing feast…

As well us giving the day a little ‘deadline’ magic, transforming the space quickly into a communal dining area, the Feast, created a celebratory moment at which everyone present could feel a part of how much CAN be achieved in just a handful of Tooting hours with a generous mix of shared skills and open-hearted fun.  Special thanks to Tooting URC for being such a welcoming venue for the afternon!

Now we know the ‘recipe’ maybe we could do it again!!!  

What skills do you  have you could share?