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Access to healthy local food for disadvantaged communities

Wiltshire & Swindon Food Champions

Food Champions is an innovative three-year project in Wiltshire and Swindon to empower predominantly disadvantaged communities to learn about and access healthy local food.

The teaching of horticultural skills combined with the creation of allotments and orchards will be supplemented by a network of voluntary Food Champions across Wiltshire and Swindon.

We seek to achieve the following through the three-year life of the project

 

  1. Build a network of 1,500 community Food Champion volunteers

  1. Utilise a range of communication techniques to promote awareness, benefits and consumption of local food to 18,000 people
  1. Establish 12 allotments and 20 new or regenerated orchards to provide learning opportunities for 500 people to grow local food
  1. Encourage 200 families living in disadvantaged and hard to reach communities to eat healthil
  1. Increase production of orchard fruit by supporting local communities to establish or restore at least 20 community  orchards

By delivering a focussed project, which shows real value for money, we aim to inspire, engage and enable communities to lead healthier lifestyles.  The establishment of practical community projects, which are sustainable into the future, will also significantly improve levels of community cohesion and create socially inclusive foundations for economic and environmental resilience

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has accumulated almost 50 years experience of inspiring people about the natural environment and sustainable development through successfully delivering community based projects and volunteering across Wiltshire and Swindon.  This project will build on our expertise gained through creating other successful networks such as the Wiltshire Fairtrade Coalition, Compost Ambassadors and Wiltshire World Changers.

Working with partners in social housing, local authorities and the voluntary sector, the project will create a unique network in the community to promote the benefits of locally grown food and increase its production and consumption.

Some of the county’s most disadvantaged communities will gain skills in growing their own food and learn about healthy eating, and new skills in orchard husbandry will address the current shortage of fruit produced locally in Wiltshire and Swindon.

‘Food Champions’ will be recruited from these practical projects and from the wider community. Anyone can become a Food Champion and join the network to share experiences and increase the level of information about where to source local food.

In January 2012, the launch of Wiltshire & Swindon Local Food Network takes place on Thursday 19th January (Lower Moor Farm, near Swindon) and on Friday 20th January (Langford Lakes, near Salisbury). If you would be interested in attending or being updated about the network, please do get in touch.

We will write follow-up articles to this one keeping you informed of the progress of the project. If you would like any further information about the project, network launch or would just like a chat, please get in touch with either Gary Lamont or Sara Cundy on 01380 736080 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gary Lamont

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