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Mak Gilchrist: the model helping to Grow Brixton

— by Alyson Walsh

 

 

 

Remember I told you about Mak Gilchrist, the 48-year-old model turned guerilla gardener? As well as appearing in the Robert Palmer Addicted to Love video and numerous Chanel perfume ads, Mak was one of my favourite cover girls back in the fashion editor days. She’s also one of the founders of the Edible Bus Stop Project, a social enterprise committed to turning unused local land into community gardens and ‘growing sites’. Here’s Mak striking a pose alongside co-founder and creative director Will Sandy:

 

Mak with business partner Will Sandy, and Liz Seymour. Photo: Rob Mann

The Edible Bus Stop team have been busy. The latest transformed space has just opened further along the transport route in West Norwood. ‘Good isn’t it?!’ yelled a south London geezer whizzing past on his bike as I
stopped to take a photo of the Hoopla Garden. And that’s the thing, the Edible Bus Stop spaces are designed to bring the local community together, to connect people – and of course, to get them growing their own vegetables.

There are on-going plans to convert a bus stop in Crystal Palace – as well as a much larger space in Brixton. The duo’s Grow Brixton project sees the proposed development of a plot of wasteland on Popes Road, next to the recreation centre. This is a big, big site and a massive commitment, the team are proposing a landscaped cultural hub where people can acquire new skills such as horticulture, cooking, building and music, with shipping containers for restaurants and shops. There is a small pop-up space next to the site with events going on throughout the summer –  at the launch on Saturday night a steel band played, there was an open air cinema and top-notch beer supplied by Brixton Brewery. This really is a fantastic local project and it’s not just for local people, visitors to Brixton will benefit too.

 

 

But, the Grow Brixon team are doing this for love, not money – Mak told me that she went to the bank last week only to find that there was no cash left in her account. Such a big project needs proper financial backing, so please spread the word and if you know anyone who might be able to help, they can contact Mak and Will here.

In the meantime, watch the Grow Brixton project germinate on Twitter and Facebook.

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