A project that combines urban music and environmental ideals has been honoured by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson for its dedication to sustainability and environmentalism, writes Kuba Shand-Baptiste. 

The May Project Gardens collected a Team London award for ‘Greening and Cleaning’ with under 25s.

As well as running Natural City Living workshops every week, and open days every Friday and Sunday, the project is due to launch the first ‘Food, Hip Hop and the Green Economy’ course, which they have been crowd funding since July.

The group’s co-founder Ian Solomon-Kawall said: “"What we’re looking to do is to have more partnerships with corporate organisations - we want to remain an autonomous and grassroots organisation, but I want to ensure that the project is financially sustainable.”

Aimed at 18-25 year olds, the course combines education, personal growth and skills development in teaching young people to “use music to grow their communities.” Modules include Diet and Nutrition, Permaculture, Green Economy and Hip Hop.

The group have so far raised over £3,500 of their £15,000 total.

The Hip Hop Garden crowdfunding website says: “Let’s reclaim Hip Hop back to its roots, let’s empower young people to take control of their health, and let’s support them to transform our communities.”

Joined by a host of celebrities, including former Tottenham and England defender Ledley King, Mr Johnson presented the Morden-based group's director Ian Solomon-Kawall, 41, with the accolade on Monday, September 14.

The May Project family - which has already helped more than 500 young people in the area, will be celebrating its achievement with a private gathering at the May Garden Project base in Middleton Road, Morden, on Sunday, complete with vegan food and artist performances.

Members of the public are also invited to partake in apple pressing which will take place from 4pm-7pm the same evening.

For more information, or to donate, visit: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/hiphopgarden