Growhampton is a sustainability programme with a big focus on food. It is delivered by Roehampton Students' Union at the University of Roehampton. It was established in September 2013 with funding from the NUS Students’ Green Fund.
All students and staff at Roehampton embed sustainability in their everyday lives on campus and beyond.
In August 2013 Roehampton Students' Union was awarded £230,000 to implement a two year programme that would inspire and engage students, staff and the local community in Roehampton with sustainability issues. We aimed to make ‘being green’, easy, accessible and fun through the establishment of a number of new initiatives.
An edible campus was created with a main growing site complete with polytunnel and a number of smaller growing areas spread throughout the university grounds. Kale, chard, salad leaves, beetroots and micro greens popped up everywhere, giving students the opportunity to learn about where food comes from and how to grow it.
The Hive Café built out of former shipping containers was designed, constructed and opened by our local MP Rt Hon Justine Greening in May 2014. The café is a unique venue on campus that enables organic, ethical and local food to be both affordable and accessible. It is the social enterprise element of the programme.
In July 2014 The Hive was named as winner of the 2014 Soil Association ‘Organic Eating Out’ Award. In October 2014 Growhampton was Highly Commended in the Green Gown Award’s ‘Food and drink’ category. Growhampton was also shortlisted for a Wandsworth Green Business Award in November 2014.
As part of our legacy strategy and in response to the popularity of the programme, in June 2015 we launched a successful Crowdfunder campaign, raising £20,000 for a cafe extension.
Today we operate the café, manage productive growing sites and run numerous volunteering opportunities and events that involve students’, staff and the local community. We are also developing our food education outreach work in the community by delivering sessions about growing and healthy eating in local schools.