On a beautiful, sunny, Autumnal Saturday morning, over 200 local residents, local councillors, senior council officers and funders came together to celebrate the launch of Stockport's Community Food Hub.
Funding from Reaching Communities, Postcode Local Trust (supported by players and Awards for All) totalling just under £1/2 million, will support the development of this sustainable food and community hub for the next five years.
Helen Woodcock, founder of the Kindling Trust, the organisation that secured the funding and is co-ordinating the development of the hub said “This funding means an exciting future for the old council plant nursery at Woodbank Memorial Park. We had a really warm welcome from the local community when we took on this site and the support and enthusiasm just keeps on growing. Over the next 5 years we will together transform Woodbank into a regional leader in social prescribing, urban food production, horticulture training and long term solutions to food poverty”.
Funding will equip the hub to confront a wide range of challenges - from food-related illness and food poverty to loneliness; from an ageing farming population and unemployment, to soil erosion and climate change. It is about taking the root cause of these seemingly disparate issues and turning it into a solution for them all; building healthier, happier, more resilient communities through good food.
Saturday's event used food both to celebrate the funding success and to engage more people, asking how they want the community food hub to develop over the next 5 years. The day included pumpkin carving and souping, apple pressing, chutneys made from the produce grown on site, tours of the gardens, soup, bee keeping and a big thank you made out of vegetables!
Corrina Low (Community Engagement Co-ordinator) said " Our oldest member Sid (91 years young) and youngest, Elliot (about to celebrate his 1st birthday) lead the celebration with the planting of an apple tree. This symbolises our confidence in the future of our Food Hub to deliver meaningful solutions for generations to come and offers hope in a world with so many competing challenges"
Sid talks very openly and movingly of how he felt when his wife died and the role of the hub in bringing some cheer back into his life. For many it is a place where not only can you learn about and experience the joys of growing, cooking and eating healthy fresh and truly local food, but where you can find community. If you’re really lucky you might get a little song from Sid and cheering smile from Elliot.
Visit www.woodbank.org.uk to find out more about events happening at the Hub.