Harlesden woman’s juice project gets £10,000 pledge from Sadiq Khan

Davina Roberts Juice bar project gets pledge from the Mayor. Pic credit: Adam Tiernan Thomas

Davina Roberts Juice bar project gets pledge from the Mayor. Pic credit: Adam Tiernan Thomas - Credit: Archant

A disabled Harlesden entrepreneur who teaches young people about healthy eating has received a £10,000 pledge from the Mayor of London to help grow her business.

Davina Roberts, founder of the Punch and Juicy Market Place, has won much needed support from Sadiq Khan.

The £10,000 pledge is halfway to her target of £24,000 she needs to get her Juice Academy up and running.

She said: “I’m still overwhelmed. We got best on value of what we offer the community and we were chosen among some really big projects so very overwhelming.”

Ms Roberts got the idea for her liquid food pop up bar in 2009 and now grows fruit and vegetables on an allotment in Harlesden teaching youngsters about the value of healthy food.

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She said: “I was homeless for a while when I got lymphoedema, which affects mobility. I was being overmedicated so I tried to find a way of self healing which is where I got the idea for the Juice Academy. While volunteering for a homeless organisation I got support and motivation.

“It’s been a journey, ups and downs and false starts but I watch children eating so much fast food, and children with diabetes. I’ve met children who do not know that food comes from a seed. This isn’t where we should be in society.”

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She is keen to expand the workshops she runs which have proved very popular. “Recently we’ve had 92 children come to the academy helping us. On the St Raphael’s estate it is working really well, children are growing their own food in neighbours’ gardens.”

Actively fundraising to match the mayor’s pledge, she added: “The money will go towards the Juice Academy - juice equipment, venue bookings, and more allotment spaces. The dream is to set up our own market with the food we grow.”

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Our crowdfunding initiative is a chance for all Londoners to take part in the regeneration of their neighbourhoods from the grassroots up.

“I am delighted to be supporting projects like the Punch and Juicy campaign that will help strengthen local communities and help to make London an even greater city.”

To donate go to spacehive.com/PJMP

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