KAFFEINE / Lifestyle, Public Relations


13 May 2021

With Croydon undergoing one of the biggest regeneration projects the UK has ever seen – the borough is keen to shake off its ‘concrete jungle’ reputation and find ways for the community to reconnect with the cityscape in meaningful ways.

We were tasked by the John Whitgift Foundation, one of Croydon’s leading education and care charities, to use their 425th anniversary as a catalyst to deepen their connections and relevance within the community and improve wellbeing against the backdrop of the global pandemic.  

In order to do this, we created the ‘Grow With John’ initiative, inspiring residents of all ages across the community to embrace the tangible health benefits of gardening by getting green-fingered and growing, whether indoors or outdoors. We also secured support from the Royal Horticultural Society and Sir Alan Titchmarsh to devise and promote the campaign.

Our ambitious initiative aims to support residents and inspire the community via thousands of free seed packets and a microsite packed full of gardening resources shared with families, schools and care homes across the borough.

Our challenge was to achieve clear media cut through in the week leading up to one of the busiest gardening weekends of the year, which we achieved through targeted outreach to key national, regional and specialist media across the education, care and gardening sectors.

Coverage highlights so far include the Sunday Telegraph, Croydon Guardian, Horticulture Week and Primary Times alongside an interview on BBC Radio London The Robert Elms Show.

Remarkably, within 96 hours of launching, the John Whitgift Foundation had doubled their KPI for seed pack giveaways for the year, with 2,000 requests received, and with visits to the Foundation’s website increase by a whopping 400%.

Grow With John is part of our ongoing community engagement work for the charity which has previously seen us launch Capturing Croydon, a photography-focused placemaking competition designed to get local children understand their sense of place and see their hometown in a whole new light.