Homegrown in Tottenham run a free Saturday school, community kitchen, food hub, social space and advocacy service. We bring together kids, young people, their families, & everyone else in our community. Our story began in Tottenham, 2015, when Rose Dakuo started the Language Fun Club, offering free language classes & activities and using food to bring young people together. She saw the lack of kid-friendly spaces in her neighbourhood and wanted to do something different.
The club opened up a space where kids could speak about their lives and discuss issues they were facing without fear of judgement. It also became a space for all the Language Club families to cook & eat together, talk, share knowledge and support each other. Like Rose, most families attending the club were Black, & like her, many were refugees, asylum seekers, had NRPF, or were on a very low income. Social cleansing & threats of eviction impacted everyone in the club, so it came as a blow when the club itself faced eviction too.
In 2019 Grow Tottenham offered us a space, and it became a home for us. Rose continued the Language Fun Club and also set up ‘Homegrown in Tottenham’ with Emma Djilali and Chloe Ruthven. In 2021, we decided to join both projects as one. In Summer 2022 Notting Hill Genesis, a large housing developer and the landowner of the site, told us we would have to vacate the site a year earlier than expected. On August 29, the date of our notice to quit, we decided to occupy our canteen/kitchen to protest the ongoing social cleansing of Tottenham Hale. On September 22, after 24 days of occupation, NHG housing was granted a possession order and we had to vacate the site. Up until now we are still operating without a space in Tottenham.
Homegrown in Tottenham, (Rose Dakuo and Emma Djilali) will hold a series of reading clubs and LARP workshops as The School for Regeneration to interrogate the reality of social cleansing of low income communities in Tottenham. The programme will host Ruth Catlow alongside members of Homegrown’s community of young people over the span of 6 weeks to reflect on and develop an image for sustaining community spaces as they continue to operate between locations.