In football speak ‘winning the treble’ – three trophies in different competitions in a single season is much discussed but rarely achieved. The last year was an extraordinary one for the Food Partnership and to our pride and astonishment we have been rewarded with three very different awards.
At a city level the Brighton & Hove Business Awards: Not for Profit Business of the year is awarded to an organisation that is driven by social and environmental aims, can demonstrate success and that has a clear and compelling vision for the future.
Our nomination demonstrated how we use food to bring about change across social and environmental issues. In the last year this included:
- supporting 1,000 households to be involved in community composting; and more edible planting & people involved at our community gardens in Preston Park and Saunders Park
- the opening of the Community Kitchen – our social enterprise cookery school that offers everyone the opportunity to learn about, share and enjoy food
- our support for community food projects operating in neighbourhoods across the city providing shared meals, redistributing surplus food, running food banks and community food growing spaces
- our work to improve the food served by the city’s large caterers such as schools, hospitals and universities who collectively serve 1 million meals a month; and with local food businesses in particular on issues of food waste and reduction of single use plastics
Regionally the Community Kitchen won the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors South East Award for Community Benefit for the conversion of the ground floor office space in Community Base into our purpose-built cookery teaching space. Judges praised the relationship between the Food Partnership and the construction industry experts (MacConvilles Surveying, Claire Potter Design and Cheesmur Building Contractors) and for the way we created a “purpose built and fully accessible community kitchen with design that is welcoming, safe and inspires people” and achieving our ambition of building a great space to cook in but also a place with a heart.
One of our organisational values is ‘we believe food is better shared, and work is delivered better in partnership’. The award of Team Of the Year in the national Cost Sector Catering Awards recognised the success of our collaborative approach and how our small team have created “an extraordinary network of local organisations and individuals working together to a collective aim of healthy, sustainable, fair food for all”. The latest version of the city’s Food Strategy and Action Plan launched in November 2018 has more than 100 partners committed to 200+ actions and provides the platform on which we have launched the ambition of achieving Gold Sustainable Food City Status in 2020.
We were nominated for these awards by people from three very different organisations – chartered surveyors, the Chamber of Commerce and the national food policy think-tank the Food Foundation. Receiving support from such a broad range of organisations is something that the Food Partnership could never have imagined when we started, and it is wonderful to see our work becoming so much more widely recognised. Thank you for nominating us and thank you to every staff member, volunteer, Board member and project partner for the part you played – these awards belong to all of us.