Category Archives: News

Love the Hornbeam? Want to keep it ticking?

Does having a coffee in the Cafe brighten your day?  Do you look forward to the chats that pop-up when you wander in to The Hornbeam on a weekend?  Are you enjoying an Italian class, or do you love the peace that surrounds our Lodge in Chingford?  Please help us keep this all going!

We can only do everything we do because of the support of amazing volunteers – and we need your energy and experience! Take a look and see if you can be part of these roles.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Hornbeam Directors and Coordinating Team Volunteers
We are looking for people with experience in strategy, food enterprises, partnerships or finance who also have some time on their hands.

This is a voluntary role with a daytime meeting and some follow-up once a month.  More information here.  Please send a CV to before 10th May if you are interested. Thanks.

Pimp Hall dovecote
Pimp Hall dovecote

Volunteer Photo Editor
Are you familiar with online photography storage? Could you help us create a system to store all our amazing photos in one place and for staff to have easy access to them? If this is your world we’d love to hear from you. Contact Sue at
More info on the role

Walthamstow Garden Party volunteers
It’s nearly Walthamstow Garden Party time (15 & 16  July in Lloyd Park)! The Hornbeam and the Learning Lodge will have a stall to tell people about our work and if you are a fan of the Hornbeam and love chatting to people, we’d love to have you join us. Tell us about yourself here.

Join our Social Media Champions
Could you help us get the word out about the amazing work we do around the borough on social media? Whether your preferred ‘platform’ is Facebook, Twitter or Instagram we’d love to hear from you. We’d like to recruit a few Social Media Champs so we can share the sharing love. Do spread the word. Message Sue at the Hornbeam on Facebook or Twitter if you’re up for it!


Rescue Food! with Best Before Project

best-before-logoThe Hornbeam and This is Rubbish are working together to run Waltham Forest’s Best Before Project. We are working with anti food waste campaigning and redistribution organisation ‘Best Before‘ to raise awareness among local food retailers that it is not illegal to sell food that is passed its best before date.

To help us reach out to people in the community we are seeking passionate Food Rescuer Volunteers across Waltham Forest. They are working


Volunteers will encourage and support retailers to sell food passed its Best Before date at a reduced price; showing we can reduce waste and also educating their customers.  Shops will also be able to donate food which they don’t want to sell, to other projects such as food banks and the People’s Kitchen and E17’s Disco Soup.

We’re looking for enthusiastic people to help run collections, engage shops, help with distribution, or run awareness-raising events.

More about the roles here: Rescuer: Contacting shops and Spreading the Word
Distributor: Finding  a Use for Surplus

Pay-What-You-Feel stalls locations in Waltham Forest

For more info please complete the Hornbeam Volunteering form.  (Tick the ‘Best Before – Food Rescue’  box)









World Disco Soup-Waltham Forest

World Disco Soup Waltham Forest & Local People’s Food Forum Launch!

Sunday 30 April 2-6pm

Scout Hut 205a Wood St, Walthamstow, London E17 3NU

Hornbeam’s Best Before Project is teaming up with Plan Zheros and This is Rubbish. We are calling for attention and action to stop global food waste.

A Disco Soup is a way of collecting a lot of food that was going to be wasted, cooking it into something yummy together with a lot of people and having fun in the process.

Join us to fill bellies instead of bins!

This event is also a perfect opportunity to bring the diverse range of local food organisations together to launch the Local People’s Food Forum. So come along to discover what is being done in Waltham Forest to build a sustainable food system, from farm to fork and beyond.

This family-friendly event is free and all are welcome!  There will also be stalls, workshops and live entertainment! For any more info contact:



An invitation to Stories and Supper – 1 April

Are you wondering about the stories and the people behind the migration headlines?

This is a Supper Club with a twist. Great global food with global stories thrown in too.

Stories, inspiring people, and supper
Stories, inspiring people, and supper

“I think he’s quite isolated… your welcome came along just at the right time.”  Through a broken phone conversation, one of our volunteers had told his English teacher that he loves coming to our preparation sessions.  It’s nice to hear – it feels like chaos!

We’re planning Supper and Stories – The Voices Behind the Migration Headlines.  A three course meal, with multiple chefs, and stories from home and here.  Because stories, and people, can counter the hate in the headlines.

So every week we all meet to plan the Supper and build our skills.  We cook, we learn English, we tell stories.  Volunteers buddy up together and work through food safety training.

We’re a mixed bunch – local, not so local, refugees, asylum seekers, those working full time and those with time to kill.  Established chefs, and beginners.  Most of us are volunteers, all of us are learning.

Five weeks ago we didn’t know each other.  Next week we’re all serving dinner to fifty people. This project has brought more people together than we ever expected, and they’ve already gained a huge amount from volunteering.  Concrete food safety training, new friendships…  Hopefully, some of the people we cook for will also take our stories and scatter them in the places that matter.

Wish us luck…!  And please come to dinner!

Please note Stories and Supper is not at the Hornbeam but at Central Parade so we can cater to more people! Central Parade, 6-10 Hoe Street, Walthamstow E17 4RT. 

Saturday 1st April 2017, 7:30pm

Tickets: Price: £28.32 – please share!

Stories and Supper
More than a meal….

Felicia Ruperti


Felicia at People's Kitchen
Felicia Ruperti
We are sharing a beautifully written post written by Organiclea in memory of our co-worker and friend Felicia Ruperti who died last Friday 17 March. 
Some of you will know Felicia well, and some not at all. She worked with such compassion and care and joy running OrganicLea‘s jamming project at the Hornbeam every Community Monday with Kim and supporting people to learn with such grace, kindness and humour.  
There is a memorial website that has been set up for her as many friends and family won’t be social media users.
She stated that she didn’t want a funeral or memorial but said: ‘If you would like to do something, then please plant a tree. Maybe a fruit or nut tree, or native trees – something the bees like to buzz around, that people or wildlife can eat, maybe a home for insects and birds.” We will share any information about this as we hear more.
Thinking of the lovely Felicia, we will miss her very much – may she rest in peace.  xxxx
Felicia at Organiclea
Felicia at Organiclea
We were deeply saddened to learn the news of Felicia Ruperti‘s death on Friday 17 March 2017. Felicia was more than a colleague, she was a friend. Anyone who came into contact with Felicia recognised that she was a force for change. She was committed to making the world a better place and everything she did reflected that. She was kind, generous with her time and incredibly enthusiastic about any project she worked on.

To share some of the work that Felicia has been doing with us during her time at OrganicLea: Felicia (or Felic) to some, came to us in the summer of 2015. Within a year, she had grown Farm Start from a project in its infancy to one that surpassed even our ambitions: seven growing sites in London and rural environs, providing opportunities for new entrants to organic horticulture and boosting the local food economy.
You don’t just happen upon land in and around London: Felicia had to sweet-talk, badger, and negotiate relentlessly to get hold of it; bury herself in legal contracts; and provide practical and moral support to our Farm Starters, all with the same high level of dedication and organisation.
One of said Farm Starters was Felicia herself: she spent a day a week working with Farook at the Marsh Lane Kitchen Garden, growing food exclusively for the Clove Club restaurant as part of our explorations into Chef Supported Agriculture. Another day of the week she could be found at the Hornbeam kitchen, generating a range of delicious preserves from our surplus fruit and veg, whilst training people up in home economics. She appeared to be able to turn her hand to most things, and walking the talk came naturally to her. Both of these ventures she gave herself to fully, right into the last week of her life.
Felicia was always much more than her job: she threw herself into the life and culture of the OrganicLea co-operative, fearlessly taking on public speaking responsibilities and cleaning duties with the same gutsy enthusiasm. She shared our vision for the transformation of the destructive food system into a just, sustainable one, participating in various activities and networks pushing for this wider change.

Felicia was sensitive to the exploitation of the world and the suffering of others. This understanding and empathy informed her activism, and made her more effective. It is inescapably sad that the world has lost a gifted community food activist at a time when such people are sorely needed. This sadness is outshone though, by our gratitude for the passion and skill that Felicia generously lent our community and movement in her time here. Although she died too young, Felicia experienced much in her life and gave so much to others. We feel lucky to have known Felicia and will always treasure the memories of her.

Food Rescuers – NEW AQA award in Social Action

Calling local Food Rescuers to take action on Food Waste

The Best Before Project, with support of the Hornbeam Centre, has an exciting new opportunity for volunteers to gain an AQA accreditation in Designing, Planning & Delivering a Social Action Project.  Taking part in this programme gives participants evidence of developing and improving important work and community skills.

The Hornbeam Pop-Up Best Before, Still Good After stall








Participants will work in a team and be supported to put on an event or multiple pop-up ‘pay what you feel’ stalls in the borough.  The aim is to raise awareness among local people and independent food retailers and  that it is not illegal to sell food that is passed its best before date.

Volunteers will practically help reduce preventable food waste and therefore save natural resources and enable people and small community organisations to save money.

There are many other ways to be part of Food Rescuing activities in the borough and we are keen to hear from organisations that can use or distribute food, or groups that would like to run their own ‘pay-what-you-feel’ stall.

See the volunteer role descriptions below for more details about the project and specific opportunities.

Best Before Campaigner – Volunteer Role Description

Pay-what-you-feel stall assistant – WF Food Rescue Stall Assistant, volunteer role description

Food Redistributor – WF Food Rescue Redistributor, volunteer role description

Contact Poppy on for more info.

Wellbeing Day 18 March 2017

Saturday 18 March 2017, 11am–7pm

Sssshhhhh….. this could be one of the most useful and beautiful days you could attend this year…..

It’s in a gorgeous and secret enclave of forest at Pimp Hall Nature Reserve in Chingford where the Hornbeam manage the Learning Lodge and put on wonderful events like this!

The Hornbeam is running its second Wellbeing Day at the Hornbeam Learning Lodge in Chingford with Dao Lu Thai Chi and 15+ other local groups to stage this wonderful event.

Tai Chi, yoga, singing, massage, kick boxing for young people, makin
g lights and lanterns and a glow walk, the list is endless. We even have a Men’s Shed Group for guy-friendly chat!

Yoga (prevention of fall) for 60+ (11:00 – 12:00)
Singing for all (12:00 – 12:45)
Massage for mums (including pregnant women) (12:00 – 13:45)
Tai Chi & Laughter for girls/women (12:45 – 13:45)
Kickboxing for young people (13:45 – 14:45)
Chingford Gents Group (14:45 – 15:45)
Craft for family (15:45 – 17:00)
Seasonal Aromatic Herb Playtime (15:45 – 17:00)
Tai Chi at Sunset (17:00 – 18:00)
Glow Walk (18:00 – 19:00)

Workshops are first come, first served, due to limited spaces. There will be a signing-up list on the door. Book your ticket now and do spread the word…..this is a secret we want to share!

£6pp, £12 per family, £8/£15 on the door . More info. Facebook Event for questions and info. 

Book here

Hornbeam Nights – the story so far


Hornbeam Nights: I really like it here!
Hornbeam Nights: I really like it here!

A taster and some useful links of Hornbeam Nights gone by…

Thurs 16th March, Open Decks
Bring vinyl. Spin some tunes. Buy records. Drink a cocktail. Mingle. Dance. Yeah.

Thurs 23rd March, DJ Night – Dusty Sneakers
Djs Science Man (Babuin) is back with his pal Wilfy G to take to the decks for a night of dusty vinyl, spaced-out house and sneaky, bleepy tech. Drinks, cocktails, lazers and a little dance floor action.

Thurs 30th March, Film Night – The Divide
The Divide tells the story of 7 individuals striving for a better life in the modern day US and UK – where the top 0.1% owns as much wealth as the bottom 90%. On general release in the UK from 22 April – we have a sneak, free preview! Plus glorious vegan food cooked by the Hornbeam Cafe

Thurs 19 Jan – Robin Grey and friends Folk Night
Inspired by Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Joanna Newsom, Robin colours in his songs about love and life with guitar, banjo, ukulele, mandolin, piano, double bass, organ, percussion toys and a few other instruments! Family feast. Matinee family performance. Grown-ups performance and party.

Thurs 26th January – January Film Night at the Hornbeam – The Gleaners and I
Food served at 6:30, Film starts at 7:15. 80 mins film. Pay by donation. Award winner at Cannes Film Festival in 2000, this creative documentary film by director Agnes Vada explores the history, culture and contemporary laws of gleaning in France. The film is mostly in French with English subtitles.

….Also find out how to become a Waltham Forest Food Rescuer to help reduce food waste and redistribute food surplus in the borough. Contact

Thursday 2nd February
The first Thursday of every month brings the latest in independent soul & jazz. Fitzroy Andrew‘s  Soulfulized at East London Radio show. Neo soul, soul, jazz, funk and conscious hip-hop.

Live performance and pre-record conversation with local musician Hannah Ledgewidge a talented multi-instrumentalist. LIVE PERFORMANCE 8pm. Free.

Thursday 9th February DEEPER GROOVES – A night of dub, dusty house & downtempo electronic music with DJ’s Lounch & Noods. Lazers, grooving and happy hour.

Thursday 16th February OPEN DECKS Bring vinyl. Spin some tunes. Buy records. Drink a cocktail. Mingle. Dance. Yeah.  Free.

Thurs 23 Feb – February Film night: This Changes everything. Inspired by Naomi Klein and the issues raised in her brilliant book, Klein and impassioned protesters provide political insight but also hope for the future. Trailer:

Rosamund DJing at Hornbeam Nights
Bring your own vinyl and get your 15 mins of  DJ fame at Hornbeam Nights