Following on from our district launches and recent conversations, we have decided to move away from being a membership network and become a more open informal network. The decision has been taken as we were concerned that by offering membership only benefits, we were excluding organisations that could benefit. Our current membership offer will now be an open offer to organisations across the county.
We will be changing the members page on our website to become a directory and adding a directory map. We will welcome organisations and businesses who share the ethos of Feeding Gloucestershire and invite them to become a part of the directory.
The aim is for the directory and the map is for them to become tools for highlighting the work that is happening across the county and as a general resource for organisations and people. These changes offer an opportunity to map the wider food landscape and we would like to welcome farmers, producers, hospitality and other food related businesses and organisations to become part of the directory.
We will begin implementing these changes on the 1st of November and if you would like to be listed on the map please fill in our form here
For our second district launch we were in Gloucester. Our thanks go to Dawn from The Venture: White City for helping us to arrange this event – from arranging the venue, to bringing the Eat Well Wagon and providing lunch. For those who have not heard of the Eat Well Wagon, it is a mobile kitchen and a wonderful community resource that has been making appearances across Gloucester during HAF.
Additional thanks go to Clare from Gloucestershire Gateway Trust and Gloucester Services for providing a taster table of delicious food from local producers.
During the event Leanne Purnell (Gloucester City Council wellbeing team) told us about the work that has been done on ‘Nourishing Gloucester – Gloucester City Food Strategy’.
We also spent time discussing the work that has been happening across the city and the challenges and opportunities to make change for the communities of Gloucester City and the county. Conversations were rich and varied and attendees left considering who else should be a part of the conversation we started at the launch.
Our thanks go to everyone who was able to join us for the launch.
We started June with our 4th launch, held at the Pavillion in Cheltenham. We had a wonderful mix of people representing all sectors and the launch highlighted the partnership working that is already happening across the borough.
Our speakers included Kelly Patterson of Cheltenham Brough Council, who updated us on how the council is supporting initiatives across the district – from Feed Cheltenham to Cheltenham Zero. Linda Grice told us about the work of Feed Cheltenham and the food network. Claire Dovey spoke to us about the new growing movement that has begun in Cheltenham and Raechel Kelly told us about the work Vision 21, Planet Cheltenham and Cheltenham Zero are doing to promote sustainable living in Cheltenham and beyond.
A fantastic buffet lunch was provided by Faith of Springbank Community Group, and after lunch we had some breakout sessions to discuss the work already happening in the borough, the opportunities available and challenges we face.
We are now working to bring together the feedback from the launch, but the things that have stood out so far are –
More events that give us the opportunity to connect and share
Connecting the work across the county and learning about other projects
Exploring the wider opportunities to work together
More connection between the food support network, growing projects and the sustainability movement.
Mapping what is already happening and identifying the gaps.
once again our thanks go to those who were able to join us
We hosted our first in person district event on Friday 5th May at Harts Barn in the Forest of Dean. It was a great success and as you can see from the photos, we had a great turn out of enthusiastic stakeholders, all united in the desire to support, enhance and maximise opportunities for all the communities of the Forest of Dean.
The morning gave the opportunity for a reflection of the journey to date by the Forest Voluntary Action Forum, a celebration of what a community growing project can provide to its community through Beki at Blakeney Hill Growers and an update on where the Climate Emergency strategy for the district is. What was clear throughout the morning is the food is the golden thread that ties some many pieces together. We also heard from Jenny Salter, Gloucestershire’s Sustainable Food Places coordinator about the exciting plans and initiatives that everyone can be part of from the Council, organisations, and individuals.
The morning was rounded off with a delicious lunch cooked by Joe at Harts Barn, showcasing some of the fantastic food producers from the region.
Three main areas that came out the discussion at the event were:
A desire for more join up:
Who is doing what and where?
Food distribution, availability and surplus
Youth Interaction and engagement
We will work with our members and partners in the Forest of Dean and the County to explore these areas further and they will drive our work in the Forest of Dean going forward.
Our 3rd Launch in May was Stroud District and saw us reach the halfway mark of our district launches, and it did not disappoint with over 60 people in attendance. We were hosted by Trinity Rooms Community Hub and between their team and wider members of NOSH Stroud (Network of Stroud Hubs) we were extremely well looked after.
Our morning showcased the very best of partnership working and what can be achieved through working together and supporting each other. Our thanks go to Sarah from Trinity Rooms Community Hub for her insight and update on NOSH Stroud , Annie the NOSH Stroud food coordinator for highlighting the opportunities of working with local producers. Liz Godsell from Godsells Cheese providing the essential view from the farmer and Will from The Long Table to show how sourcing locally is mutually rewarding and beneficial. We also heard from Simone from The Keepers – Wotton Area Community Hub about all the work they are doing and how valuable Food Hubs are for their communities, then Emma Keating Clark of Stroud District Council spoke about how they are supporting this work across the district
Our thanks to those who were able to join us for this launch.
Tewkesbury was our penultimate launch, our venue was Churchdown Community Centre and our delicious lunch, which featured local produce including lovely strawberries served with vegan cream, was created by Emma of The Welcome Table Cafe.
The launch was the opportunity to hear from Jenny, the county’s Sustainable Food Places coordinator, about the work of Sustainable Food Places and the benefits for our county and Andy Sanders told us about the work of the Borough Council and the support they can offer community organisations.
Our first breakout session focused on acknowledging what is already happening across the borough and what is working well – from food pantries and food banks to warm spaces, and we also worked to identify gaps.
Our second breakout looked at how we could build a thriving food movement in the borough with a view to creating a food strategy and we also considered who else should be a part of this conversation.
Our thanks to those who were able to join us for this launch, we look forward to working with you and others across the district.
On the 22nd June we had our sixth and final district launch and that was in Northleach at the Westwoods Centre for the Cotswold District. We had great representation across sector and conversations were so engrossed we ran late! We heard from Ed Bonn from the GREAT project about a new Zero Dig growing project in Cirencester, along with Anton providing an insightful look into the work the South Cotswold District Food bank is focusing on. We heard from the Cotswolds’ first food pantry, and we also had updates from the District Council.
This event was a platform for input and thoughts around a ‘Cotswold Food Network’ and what this could provide for the area. We will be pulling together the ideas, thoughts and aspirations in the coming weeks which will influence our journey ahead in the region.
As always food was a key theme of the day and following a decadent chocolate cake to get us going on arrival the team from the Long Table produced a wholesome and very tasty lunch for us all.
Both Debs and I reflected that we were sad to see the end of this series of in person events as each one has been inspiring and very insightful, most of all it has been a pleasure to meet so many passionate and motivate individuals all wanting to work together to strengthen our region’s food equity.
Following on from the successful leaflet for Stroud and The Cotswolds, Feeding Gloucestershire has been working with IFAN to produce a ‘Worrying About Money’ leaflet for each of the districts in our County, these leaflets are now printed ready for distribution and will soon be available online through the IFAN website.
Feeding Gloucestershire are now coordinating the next stage with IFAN and the Trussell Trust and this is the online training workshop. We are initially offering two dates for this workshop Monday 3rd July 1-2pm and Wednesday 12th July 1-2pm. Numbers will be limited to 50 participants for each date and if extra workshops are required they will be arranged.
All the information about the event and to book your places can be found here.
To see the leaflet for your district please click below