On Friday 18th May, we launched Rose Vouchers in the historic East Street Market, Walworth, South London.  The sun shone, the traders were shouting about Rose Vouchers and the community loved having choice and access to fruit and veg. 

This Rose Voucher project is part of the Guys & St Thomas’s Charity Bite Size programme, looking to tackle obesity in one of the most deprived wards of London.  The project starts with the view that people in poverty live in obesogenic environments, so let us try to solve that problem and make it easier for people to make healthy choices. 

The main entrance to East Street market is on the busy Walworth Road; Carol, El and Faith from HQ & Hackney were ready and waiting to tell everyone passing about Rose Vouchers.  Walking down through the market, past some of our fruit & veg traders, or stalls selling clothes, watches or perfume, was our feel-good Partner Hub.  Here, Sustrans were blending smoothies through pedal power; children were putting together their own salad wraps and fruit salads, or planting seeds with School Food Matters.  Grown ups could learn more about Bags of Taste cooking classes, Burgess Park sports or Pembroke House activities.

On Nursery Row 1st Place Children’s Centre were rushed off their feet, with our Alexandra Rose Colouring Sheets, play-dough and explaining Rose Vouchers to parents. 

We took £1,000 of vouchers to East Street, not expecting we would need that many; by the end of the event, 1st Place had the last few vouchers left to give to mums who were excited to take them home.  The Traders told us that most of them were cashed in that day; another success for Rose Vouchers, improving choice and access to fruit and veg for those most in need whilst supporting an important local market.