MPG was founded in 2007 by Ian Solomon-Kawall and Randy Mayers. Ian spent his youth as a carer for his mum who suffered from mental illness. When she died he wanted to do something positive in her memory and set an example for others facing similar social and economic hardships.
He met Randy, who'd moved from Gambia, with permaculture expertise and missing a connection to nature in the city. Together they transformed the garden at his mum's council house into the community garden, which is still the heart of MPG today.
We now work with urban communities, to address poverty, disempowerment and access to resources and influence. We provide practical, affordable and collective solutions for people to live sustainably and disengage with power structures that don't serve their interests. Until recently we functioned on a fully voluntary basis, with no formal funding, but grew due to our our values.
In 2014, Ian met Zara Rasool. Feeling disillusioned with the
mainstream charity sector, she was looking to use her management skills to help a project she believed in. Her input lead to increased recognition for our innovative and alternative education models including winning the 2015 Mayor of London's 'Greening and Cleaning award' for work with young people. By 2015 Ian and Zara registered MPG as a Community Interest Company.
In 2016 Mona Bani joined as our third director. Having both experienced frontline activism as the child of political refugees, but later worked in social policy, she wanted to combine these experiences to help grassroots projects become more influential and recognised.
We thrive for an alternative system and lifestyle based on nature, community, biodiversity and creativity. Despite recent formalisation, we've remained independent, informal and egalitarian in our values; how we work with people and interact as a team.