Sharing our success at the Mayor’s Local Food Awards


You probably don’t need us to tell you that people in Newsome care about local food. What may surprise you is that other people are starting to view what’s happened in Newsome over the past year as a cause for celebration.


Every time that I see someone arrive at a Growing Newsome event bearing an armful of plants, a jar of marrow chutney or a pocket full of runner beans, I’m reminded of how lucky I feel to live in Newsome. I said something along those lines when I got up on the stage at Huddersfield Town Hall on Monday 22nd March 2010 to accept the Community Award for Local Food Initiative 2009 – 2010. I also said that local food growing is about a lot more than just the food. It’s about friendship, ideas and inspiration – a whole bunch of stuff that you can’t get off the shelf at the supermarket.

I told people that local food in Newsome means sharing whatever we have.


Berry Brow I & N

It was a long and (for me) very nervous wait on the evening to find out whether we’d won the Community Award. Earlier that night, we had the great pleasure of seeing two of the education awards going to local schools. Berry Brow Infant & Nursery School won the Primary School Award for Local Food Project, and Newsome High School won the Secondary / Middle School Award for Local Food Project.

Well done to both.


Newsome High School

Three hours later, after our dinner (a lovely vegetable curry in my case) and after much talk around our table about how fantastic Cllr Julie Stewart-Turner has been in her role as Kirklees Mayor, and the Community Award was finally about to be announced. We had the really strange experience of listening to what the judges had said about us, without knowing if it was really us that they were talking about. I also had an awful moment of realising how very disappointed we’d all be if we didn’t win. But suddenly the waiting was over, David ran to the stage and grabbed the award, and I got the chance to tell a room full of people what Growing Newsome is all about.

On the night I was lucky enough to share the stage with four of the many people who have helped to make Growing Newsome such a success in our first year:

Rachel

Rachel

Rachel is the co-ordinator of Newsome Ward Timebanking, Huddersfield’s first ever timebanking project, which has taught us so much about valuing and sharing what we have. If you’re not sure what timebanking is, you can find out more at: www.newsometimebanking.org.uk

Sasi is a curriculum development worker for Kirklees College. Sasi has helped us to bring new learning opportunities to Newsome, both formal and informal. Crucially, she’s helped us to provide learning activities within our own neighbourhood, helping to build up people’s confidence and give us food growing skills that we can pass on from one enthusiastic novice to another.

Janet (a timebanking member) joined our food growing project right at the very beginning. Janet helped out with the food survey that showed us how interested Newsome residents are in growing their own food. My experience of living in Newsome is that if you ask someone to do something to help another person, there’s often no stopping them. Janet is the epitome of that. She hasn’t stopped all year, and shows no hint of letting up now.

It was a great evening, and I only wish that each and every one of you could have been there to see the fantastic response that I got from the people in the hall.

We know that we have something worth celebrating here – and because of the Mayor’s Local Food Awards, a lot of other people now believe that too. The people who we shared our table with (including pie-maker Andrew Jones and Nadio Granata from the University of Huddersfield) told us that it made their night to see us collect our award. The current Deputy Mayor, Cllr Andrew Palfreeman, was amongst those who asked to come and visit us in Newsome and learn more about our work. Most humbling of all, a member of the fantastic MASTT (Marsden and Slaithwaite Transition Towns), who were nominated in the same category as us, came over to congratulate us and very kindly said that we deserved to win.

Janet has two mottos:

1. “You never use a full packet of seed”  (we always have something that can be shared)

and

2. “What’s next?”

We don’t really know what’s coming next. But we know that we’ve come a long way in a few short months, and we’re going to carry on in the only way we can – together.

3 Responses

  1. Well done to you all in Newsome. A tremendous example of what a community working together can achieve.

    David Hargreaves (Almondbury) & Kirklees Environment Project

  2. […] Sharing our success at the Mayor’s Local Food Awards […]

  3. What an achievement – well done, Diane & all your team!! I feel very proud to be a Newsome resident with such hard-working people as neighbours – upwards & onwards!

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