United Food Force in North East Lincolnshire

One of our newest partners, the We Are One Foundation, is running three food banks in Grimsby, along with another in Caistor and another two in Cleethorpes.

The foundation is a result of One man’s vision to fight food poverty and change the lives of people in his community. 

Staple Foods & Hot Meals

Now working with dedicated trustees and an amazing group of volunteers, not only do they coordinate provision of staple foods to those in most need in North Lincolnshire, they also serve hot meals (at the moment for takeaway). 

Up to 200 meals would be served each Tuesday and Saturday at their central food hub – St Andrew’s Church in Grimsby. 

“We are ONE works to provide support for people facing food poverty including the homeless, those in hostels, the elderly and families in financial distress. Feeding those in need for free and on a voluntary basis, we will support anyone who asks, without prejudice in respect of circumstances, gender, race, religion or age.”

All are welcome!

Dave Wells had the idea to start serving food to people for free more than 6 years ago. 

He tells me that they had lots of discussions over the name of the organisation in its infancy. ‘We Are One’ just summed up everything and sends a clear message to anyone wanting to be involved. 

Whether as a volunteer, someone needing a break from eating on their own at home, young families, and anyone who is constantly on the move without a permanent place to stay – all are welcome.

Fish & Chip FryDays

Fish and Chip FryDays were launched at the end of December 2020: a fun family day supporting the fishing communities who have experienced hardship since the decline of the fishing industry in Grimsby.

This was a huge collaboration and there are too many generous donors to name.

Outstanding quality fish products were donated along with all of the ingredients to make the supper and dessert too.

If you are interested in finding out more about the event you can see more in this clip

We’ve mapped foodbanks, community larders and affordable cafes across Lincolnshire.

Find your nearest foodbank to request help for yourself or someone in your community, volunteer your time, or make a donation.


Food news from our blog

The Inkpot – a permaculture farm in Lincolnshire

How does permaculture address the big challenges of our times – from the climate and ecological crises, to the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities? Hannah Thorogood – a permaculture designer and senior UK Permaculture teacher – farms 100 acres (without a tractor). Her land and farming practices embody a mindset of abundance –Continue reading “The Inkpot – a permaculture farm in Lincolnshire”

Gosberton House Academy

At Gosberton House Academy, all children get to grow vegetables from seed, cook every week, and eat the things that they have grown on the site.

I know full well that plenty of children get little more experience of growing food than germinating a broad bean in a yoghurt pot! 

So I had to go and have a look…

I will share with you on the tour that I was taken on by vice principal, Paul Squire.

And it made me want to be a child again!

Growing Food at School

The Gosberton House Acedemy site is very green and verdant, the atmosphere calm and also intriguing.

The school is masterful at creating autism friendly spaces, but I reckon this is good for everyone! 

You may not be able to tell from the photos that I visited on a wild, blustery day – and the Lincolnshire fens are more windswept than elsewhere in the county! – but the outdoor environment is incredibly pleasant – sheltered by the many trees, rainbow ribbons billowing lightly around the playground.

And food-growing – amid an abundance of nature and play equipment – is evident all over the place! 

Apple trees are dotted through play areas and surround the playing field, the blossoms confetti-ing the grass.

We pass quirky little beds bursting with strawberry plants by the foot paths, and copses smelling strongly of wild garlic. Do the children get to have a nibble? I ask.

The answer is yes! The children are taught to distinguish between different plants, edible and potentially poisonous. 

“The children need to be able to identify plants so they can make good decisions in real life,” Mr Squire explains.

“They are going to come across them, it doesn’t help them if we never let them see anything that could be harmful.” 

Children don’t need to be protected from or afraid of harmful plants, they need to be confident in how to recognise them.

A child-sized allotment

Each class has an allotment plot, carefully portioned into neat rows and sections with string, where the children grow a variety of vegetables. 

There’s also a hot composter, where the children can tip their garden waste and snack food leftovers, and see the full cycle of how they break down, and feed the soil the following year.

Biodiversity thrives alongside all the food, and the children are in the thick of it!

They get to watch the birds in the wood from a bird hide, and are helped to identify them. 

They are fully involved in digging a little wildlife pond, and in time will watch it become inhabited by frogs and other pond life. 

The site is rich in habitats. There are logs (or are they stepping stones, or seats for small people?) with whole populations of minibeasts hiding below!

The thing that really blows me away about Gosberton House, is that there’s not just one token apple tree, one little veg plot (and that’s not to discredit anyone making a small start with food growing) – it’s everywhere, and in lots of different ways! 

There’s a keyhole bed, for standing up gardening, with integrated composting in the centre, where multiple plants are intercropped in one small space.

Even the outdoor shelter has window boxes filled with herbs and flowers!

Indoors, there’s a child-scale kitchen, with a timetable on the door that includes each small group in a weekly slot: every child uses the kitchen every week!

Why is food growing, harvesting and cooking important to you as a school? 

“We’re all about preparing the children for life, and for lifelong learning,” Mr Squire explains. “The children get to learn about risk. They get to climb trees. We’re preparing them for the future.”

“It creates opportunities for building community.” 

The school runs Dads & lads n lasses, Mums & lads n lasses groups in the forest school, where parents get to spend time with their children in a shared environment. 

The children come from all over Lincolnshire, so there isn’t a typical school community, located in the families’ neighbourhood. The parents get to talk to each other, and talk about their children. 

“The buzz is amazing!”

And it ties into health and well being – “we want children to grow up being healthy and knowing how to look after themselves and each other.”

How does school embed this so effectively? 

This is a question that really interests me. I mean, plenty schools do recognise the value of good food, but school food growing projects are notoriously short lived; classroom cooking activities are frequently unhealthy – iced biscuits are ubiquitous! The seed-to-plate journey is hard for schools and teachers to sustain, on top of their already colossal workload.

“It’s a mindset. If you view it as important it becomes embedded.”

Mr Squire shows me the curriculum overview, organised into termly themes.

Food is woven right through it. There are ways to incorporate it into all the themes, and all the subjects, science and writing, observation drawing and maths. It keeps it all grounded in the real world. 

And the curriculum cycle is designed so that the growing projects are not dropped at the end of a theme.

A growing project that starts in one term, is picked up again the next term, but in a different way, and then again the next term and the next year. 

The head teacher is committed, and that makes a massive difference.

“And it is really a small amount of time, relative to the enormous benefits to the children!”

Does it make a difference that it is a special school?

Mr Squire has taught in both special schools and mainstream.

“No, not really,” he tells me. “The pressures are slightly different, but equally demanding. How you do things depends on your priorities.”

“It’s about well-being. There’s a place for technology and so forth, but children need time to be outside. We’re not an exams factory.”

If you’d like to find out more about food in schools, you might like to take a look at:

Webinar recordings about food in schools, from our Incredible Edible in Lincolnshire series, including a primary school, a secondary school and the TastEd approach.

Recent blog – Can Kids Keep Bees? about Wyberton Primary Academy.

I’ve got a few more awesome schools to visit this summer, and you might like receive future blog posts direct to your inbox, via our newsletter.

If you work in a school, check out the Soil Association’s Food for Life awards – an excellent programme for embedding good food in schools. There are a few of the criteria that we may be able to help you with, so feel free to get in touch.

Finally, if your school is doing amazing things with food, I’d love to hear from you, include you on a map of foodie schools, and pay you a visit if you would welcome that. Send me an email – laura@lincolnshirefoodpartnership.org

More from our blog…

Growing Food at Lincoln St Faith’s

The National Food Strategy is the UK’s first comprehensive review of the food system in over 75 years. It was commissioned by the government and lays out concrete proposals for how our food system needs to be reformed to meet health, nature and climate targets. Interestingly, it has a lot to say about schools. Food for Life The report specifically recommends taking a wholeContinue reading “Growing Food at Lincoln St Faith’s”

Food and Health in Primary School

Conversation with a Learning Mentor Normally when I visit a food place, I prepare for a blog, take snaps, make notes, but today I put my smartphone down to listen up. Kirsty Ollerenshaw is a teaching mentor and a mother. When I first “met” her, on an online Incredible Edible event, she was asking questions about restoring abandoned raised beds at Gunthorpe Primary SchoolContinue reading “Food and Health in Primary School”

Can kids keep bees?

They’re not exactly the most usual school pet, requiring considerable knowledge and skills, some specialist equipment, not to mention the careful handling – but the learning opportunities are as bountiful and delectable as the honey! Wyberton Primary Academy near Boston shows us how it’s done, with a little help from Willoughby Road Allotment Association. The School Bee Keepers Year five – Mrs Hodgson’s classContinue reading “Can kids keep bees?”

Cogglesford Watermill

A Story of Local Food & Heritage

Cogglesford Watermill is the last working Sheriff’s watermill, rescued from dereliction around 30 years ago by North Kesteven council, and is maintained as a heritage site, open to the public. During lockdown, while the usual visitors have been kept away, the mill team has been re-thinking the importance of food and the mill’s original purpose of grinding flour.

The food response to lockdown

When the first lockdown kicked in, flour was suddenly in high demand. As the supermarket shelves emptied of flour – and big flour producers were not set up for supplying flour in domestic-scale bags – the team responded by creating a pop up shop for Cogglesford flour, out of the home of one of the team.

They were also able to support their local foodbank with flour, and other refreshments that were normally offered at the mill, including coffee and biscuits.

Although the mill has been closed to the public for the duration of lockdown, it has, at times, been possible for the miller to continue milling flour. It’s not a task the miller does alone for health and safety reasons, but she was able to enlist the help of her husband when colleagues were not able to mix in a small space.

A Twenty-first Century Miller

I spoke to the miller, Dawn Oakley, about her skilled and unusual job at the watermill. 

Dawn’s background was in tourist information, and her interest in history and heritage means that she fully appreciates the mill as a very special workplace! 

“It’s physical work, and includes running up and down a lot of steep steps,” she tells me, “it keeps me fit!

“And there’s a lot going on behind the scenes, such as the bagging of flour. There’s no reason that needs to be behind the scenes though – it’s part of the process.”

There’s a little oven on site, which is used for baking scones when school children visit. The smell is amazing!

A Food Future

Looking to the future, the team are looking to foreground the flour production. “It turns out it’s not good for a waterwheel to sit in water for long periods of time,” Dawn tells me. It’s actually beneficial on every level for the wheel to be in use, driving the grindstones to mill the grain. 

Previously, the mill was put into action one day a week as a demonstration for visitors, but as the mill is undergoing some substantial repair work, the team are realising the importance of the milling process, and the production of flour as the fundamental purpose of the mill.

While the tourists have been absent, the team has also realised the importance of the local community – and how much the community values the mill. 

Most visitors arrive by car, but the journey from Sleaford town centre to the mill is a lovely riverside walk, much used by local dog-walkers. The land around the mill is owned by NKDC, and is kept as a wildflower meadow, supporting biodiversity and local wildlife, as well as looking beautiful.

Learning to Mill

There are opportunities to learn the art of milling through volunteering at the mill, as well as welcoming guests, and getting involved in events and training. The team at Cogglesford are very welcoming of volunteers, and are keen to find a role for everyone interested in helping out, from youngsters interested in exploring a career in tourism and heritage, or retired adults who enjoy the mill environment. 

The mill is undergoing repair work, and is not yet open to the public, but there’s lots you can do to connect with them in the meantime:

  • take a virtual tour, or attend a virtual milling day
  • Follow developments on their Twitter feed
  • Buy their flour at the local farmers market, on the first Saturday of the month (while stocks last – milling will stop while the water wheel is being repaired!)
  • Pre-order flour to collect from the shop, by phoning 01529 308102
  • Find out about volunteering at the mill, by contacting Dawn: dawn_oakley@n-kesteven.gov.uk

News from our blog

HMP North Sea Camp

Farms need people.

Fewer EU workers and the Covid-19 pandemic have left a gaping hole in the number of agricultural land workers.

HMP North Sea Camp – a men’s open prison on the Lincolnshire coast – provides training and work experience to prisoners, including agricultural, horticultural and other food-related work.

This presents a particular opportunity for Lincolnshire employers in the food and farming sector to contribute powerfully to the future of prison leavers as well as increasing the safety of our communities in the future.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on the National Food Strategy

The APPG on the National Food Strategy, chaired by Jo Gideon, MP for Stoke on Trent, had its fourth meeting on  25th May to consider the way in which part 2 of the National Food Strategy might embrace the development of urban food systems, the support for rural communities, and how ‘good food’ jobs might be developed. The LFP was there.   ItContinue reading “The All Party Parliamentary Group on the National Food Strategy”

Let us keep you posted…


News, events & inspiration from Lincolnshire’s good food community

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The story of Lincolnshire Food Partnership
Current Projects:
what’s happening now!
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find out what we’re working towards in Lincolnshire

Job Opportunity: Warehouse Coordinator & Van Driver

  • £19,000 per annum equivalent – 6 months fixed contract
  • Starting date: Monday June 28th 2021
  • 37.5 hours per week
  • Working hours to be flexible dependant of the needs of the operation
  • Reporting to: Warehouse Supervisor, Lincs Co-op Pilot
  • Location: FareShare Midlands, Vulcan Park, George Street, Lincoln LN5 8LG


Summary of Role Purpose

This is an exciting project for Fareshare Midlands, starting with a 6-month pilot to assess food availability, demand levels and logistics arrangements. The role of the Warehouse coordinator will be to work on the ground at launching the programme, setting up the delivery schedules with the members and working closely with the Co-ops and other suppliers. The coordinator will be a working role, driving vans & FLTs whilst also helping lead the warehouse activity supporting a team of volunteers.


Key Responsibilities:

Communication & Leadership
  • To help establish a team to collect, process & deliver food for the Lincolnshire Co-op
  • To work closely with the volunteer teams – a diverse group ranging from regular and long-term volunteers, placements (e.g. Job Centre) to business people having just a 1-day volunteering experience – to ensure that all shift duties are covered and teams work effectively
  • To work closely with the Project Coordinator & Volunteer Co-ordinator with the recruitment, training and development of volunteers in the context of our commitment to Equal Opportunities
  • To participate in end of day reviews and planning for the next day’s activities
Operations
  • To help coordinate the work schedule so that staff and volunteer cover is adequate to ensure that food deliveries (in and out) are dealt with effectively
  • To work to performance indicators so that stock is accurate and delivery routes are efficient to allow the organisation to grow
  • To ensure that all work areas – both inside and outside the warehouse – are clean, organised and safe to work in
  • Undertake van driving duties to ensure effective, efficient timely and safe delivery of food, in line with compliance standards
  • Undertake scheduled deliveries, driving safely and responsibly, ensuring correct procedures and timely delivery and to required specifications
  • Ensuring great customer service in delivery  
  • Loading and unloading, sorting for and following deliveries, ensuring safe lifting and carrying
  • Keep vehicles refuelled, maintained, operational and clean and tidy, ready for the next delivery run
  • Refer van “issues” in a timely manner to Warehouse Team Leader to ensure minimum disruption to service delivery
  • Undertake all checks and procedures from pre-delivery to post-delivery
  • Ensure lock up, parking and storage of vans and equipment following completion of deliveries                  
Standards
  • To ensure compliance with relevant Health & Safety, Food Hygiene and other standards applicable to the building, vehicles, refrigeration equipment, our staff and volunteers, carrying out risk assessments as required
  • To work to the standards and processes agreed with the Co-op as part of the project
  • To uphold and develop high quality customer care towards & communication with our Community Food Members (CFMs)
Administration
  • To ensure that food movements are accurately logged on the electronic stock management system
  • To carry out depot administration, including running reports, correspondence with member groups, updating volunteer records
  • To ensure that relevant administrative matters are dealt with in a timely way, for instance food safety traces & customer complaints.

Person Specification

To succeed in this role you will need to be flexible, dedicated to the values & objectives of the pilot and above all excellent at problem solving and communication to all stakeholders

Desirable Experience
  • Experience of working in a warehouse environment, preferably with food
  • Experience of working with individuals who may feel vulnerable or need support
  • No major endorsements on licence such as DR, DG or IN. Successful candidates
    will have a full clean UK driving licence (6 points or less will be considered)
  • Previous multi-drop experience is preferred however not essential.
  • Also the role requires manually loading stock into a van (up to 20/30kg) and
    unload each delivery
  • A good geographical knowledge of the County and surrounding area would be
    helpful.
Skills, knowledge & abilities
  • Excellent, clear and proactive communication skills, both internal and with external stakeholders
  • Team working skills, including both the ability to delegate and to develop people with a positive approach
  • Good organisational skills including attention to detail, an ability to prioritise and meet deadlines working with own team
  • All round good health and ability to do physically demanding work at times
  • A positive and creative attitude in support of our FareShare & Co-op values
  • A motivation to collaborate with and develop others, with a demonstrable commitment to Equal Opportunities
  • A flexible work approach, including a willingness to cover alternative shift rotas
Qualifications
  • Up-to-date Fork lift truck & driving license
  • IT literacy, in particular of using Microsoft applications (Outlook, Word)
  • Sound numeracy skills
  • Qualifications in Food Hygiene, Health & Safety as it applies to food distribution (or if not it is essential that you have the commitment to training in these areas)


If you feel suitable for this role and would like to express an interest, please forward your CV and introductory e-mail to:

Andy Parkinson, Head of Operations Fareshare Midlands

Andy.parkinson@faresharemidlands.org.uk

Closing date Friday May 28th 2021; interviews will take place w/c 1st June 2021

Job Opportunity: Warehouse Supervisor

Job vacancy for an exciting project for Fareshare Midlands, starting with a 6-month pilot in Lincolnshire to assess food availability, demand levels and logistics arrangements.

Warehouse Supervisor

Lincolnshire Co-op pilot

  • £21,000 per annum equivalent – 6 months fixed contract starting Monday, 28th June
    2021
  • 37.5 hours per week
  • Working hours to be flexible dependant of the needs of the operation
  • Reporting to: Project lead, Lincs Co-op Pilot
  • Location: FareShare Midlands, Vulcan Park, George Street, Lincoln LN5 8LG

Summary of Role Purpose

The role of the Supervisor will be to work on the ground at launching the programme, setting up the delivery schedules with the members and working closely with the Co-ops and other suppliers. The supervisor will be a working role, leading the warehouse
activity but also providing reports, feedback and KPIs.

Key Responsibilities:

Communication & Leadership
  • To build and maintain good working relationships with the Lincolnshire Co-op team, particularly the Project Co-ordinator, with regular meetings, calls and reports
  • To supervise staff and volunteer teams – a diverse group ranging from regular and long-term volunteers, placements (e.g. Job Centre) to business people having just a 1-day volunteering experience – to ensure that all shift duties are covered and teams work effectively
  • To work closely with the Project Coordinator & Volunteer Co-ordinator with the recruitment, training and development of volunteers in the context of our commitment to Equal Opportunities
  • To hold robust communication & daily briefings with staff and volunteers to ensure there is clarity on the day’s activities and task/job assignment
  • To undertake end of day reviews and planning for the next day’s activities
Operations
  • To coordinate the work schedule so that staff and volunteer cover is adequate to ensure that food deliveries (in and out) are dealt with effectively
  • To carry out daily and weekly stock takes, Food safety and H&S audits
  • To work to performance indicators so that stock is accurate and delivery routes are efficient to allow the organisation to grow
  • To ensure that all work areas – both inside and outside the warehouse – are clean, organised and safe to work in
Standards
  • To ensure compliance with relevant Health & Safety, Food Hygiene and other standards applicable to the building, vehicles, refrigeration
  • equipment, our staff and volunteers, carrying out risk assessments as required
  • To work to the standards and processes agreed with the Co-op as part of the project.
  • To uphold and develop high quality customer care towards & communication with our Community Food Members (CFMs)
  • To make continuous improvements to the way that we work; for example evaluating CFM services, working with volunteers including volunteer training and development
  • Flexibility in leading additional projects out of the Lincoln hub
Administration
  • To ensure that food movements are accurately logged on the electronic stock management system
  • To carry out depot administration, including running reports, correspondence with member groups, updating volunteer records
  • To ensure that relevant administrative matters are dealt with in a timely way, for instance food safety traces & customer complaints.


Person Specification

To succeed in this role you will need to be flexible, dedicated to the values & objectives of the pilot and above all excellent at problem solving and communication to all stakeholders.

Desirable Experience
  • Experience of working in a warehouse environment, preferably with food
  • Experience of supervision & leadership roles
  • Experience of supporting training sessions or training updates
  • Experience of working with individuals who may feel vulnerable or need support
Skills, knowledge & abilities
  • Excellent, clear and proactive communication skills, both internal and with
    external stakeholders
  • Team working & leadership skills, including both the ability to delegate and to
    develop people with a positive approach
  • Good organisational skills including attention to detail, an ability to prioritise and meet deadlines working with own team
  • All round good health and ability to do physically demanding work at times
  • A positive and creative attitude in support of our FareShare & Co-op values
  • A motivation to collaborate with and develop others, with a demonstrable commitment to Equal Opportunities
  • A flexible work approach, including a willingness to cover alternative shift rotas

Qualifications

  • IT literacy, in particular of using Microsoft applications (Outlook, Word)
  • Sound numeracy skills
  • Qualifications in Food Hygiene, Health & Safety as it applies to food distribution (or if not it is essential that you have the commitment to training in these areas)

If you feel suitable for this role and would like to express an interest, please forward your CV and introductory e-mail to:

Andy Parkinson, Head of Operations Fareshare Midlands

Andy.parkinson@faresharemidlands.org.uk

Closing date Friday May 28th 2021; interviews will take place w/c 1 st June 2021

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