71 Fruit Trees

Planted 2017

Urban Growth Learning Gardens is a social enterprise that improves the wellbeing of Londoners by creating and maintaining communal gardens. We support vulnerable groups into sustainable, rewarding employment by transforming neglected urban spaces into thriving community oases. We are a Community Interest Company (CIC) with a diverse and experienced Members Board, and a growing team of professional gardeners and instructors.

1, 210 Hours

Volunteering Hosted

We collaborate with businesses, individuals and community organisations to enrich London’s outdoor spaces with the people who live and work around them. We design, build and maintain gardens across London, enabling people to grow food and engage with nature on their doorstep. All our work is guided by the principles of permaculture, to enrich the health of people and the planet together, even in the heart of London.

14 Sites with

Free Training Delivered

We run workshops and training programs which educate and inspire people, supporting them into rewarding and socially-responsible employment. Our services are open-access, but we specialise in supporting people with a diverse range of needs, who may be socially isolated or face barriers to education and employment. We pay all our employees above the London Living Wage and offer a range of volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups.

Meet the Team

Bruno Lacey

Managing Director

Bruno founded Urban Growth in 2014, to explore new ways of creating and maintaining green spaces with the people who use them. He is passionate about developing new ways to create sustainable cities that support their residents’ health & wellbeing.

Flora Gordon

Operations Manager

Flora completed the Urban Growth training program in 2015, and now oversees all aspects of company operations. She manages our grant-funded work in Lambeth, the Edible Living program, and ensures that all new projects are delivered on time and on budget.

Kevin Sewell

Sites Manager

Kevin graduated from the Urban Growth training program in 2015, and now manages our maintenance portfolio of communal gardens in south London. He also delivers a variety of workshops and helps to train volunteers as they develop their garden skills.

Taye Tsega

Head of Food Growing

Taye has been with Urban Growth since early 2016, and plays a key role in the technical aspects of horticulture on our different sites. He is an expert food grower, raising thousands of seedlings every year to distribute across Lambeth community gardens.

Sebastian Wood

Orchard & Volunteer Manager

Seb started volunteering with us in April 2016, and moved swiftly into a paid role working with volunteers, running sessions at PopBrixtonBrixton Orchard. He now manages both sites, & helps to delivery new projects across Lambeth.

Orsetta Hosquet

Jetty Manager & Carpenter

Orsetta started volunteering with us in 2017, and quickly became a valuable part of the team, with her background in interior & stage design. She now manages our Greenwich portfolio of sites & oversees our carpentry & other building works.

Our Board of Members

Maurizio Gioli - Chair - Head of Enterprise & Innovation at Ravensbourne University

Maurizio has a background in Engineering and Graphic Arts and 20+ years experience working and consulting in B2B technology/research industries internationally. He is a trustee, philanthropist and social entrepreneur in London, supporting small charities and social enterprises through innovative services and ethical communication.

Jens Umehag - Treasurer - Head of Finance for Group Technology & CFO at BPVentures

Jens Umehag is an energy professional with more than 15 years of international experience and an in-depth understanding of the industry – from supply and trading to sales and marketing. Most recently he was the Finance director for BP Lubricants in Germany before taking up his current role as the Head of Finance for Group Technology & CFO Ventures in 2015.

Chelsea Renhoff - Board Member - People and Development Manager for Europe, Soho House

Chelsea Rennhoff is a manager in People and Development at Soho House & Co, a luxury hospitality business with a global network of private members’ clubs, hotels, and restaurants. Chelsea oversees the UK people function and directs programs that create best-in-class people metrics that drive operational and business success. She is passionate about instituting leadership change and coaching that connects to a company’s core vision and values.

Prior to Soho House, Chelsea was a manager of People and Culture initiatives at Chipotle Mexican Grill, a publicly traded, 40000+ employee restaurant company. Chelsea was the youngest People and Culture manager in the team’s history and successfully partnered with Operations executives on people strategy in two of the most competitive restaurant markets, NYC and San Francisco. Prior to this role, Chelsea led employee relations for the US East Coast covering 500+ Chipotle restaurants. Chelsea also has extensive project management experience having created a first of its kind Chipotle eCurrency system to inexpensively and quickly resolve customer incidents.

Our Partners