Food is a health issue in so very many ways. Whether we are thinking about eating healthy nutritious food, access to food and food poverty, sustainable food – there are many aspects to consider. In Stockport, as part of our work looking at how to create/nurture/get out of the way of social movements in health, we have kept on coming back to the importance of food. We have thought about this particularly in relation to social isolation and loneliness too, and the opportunity that the growing and eating of food presents in challenging this.
Over the past we months, we have been discussing with different organisations and agencies how we might try and stitch something together that creates opportunity for local people to get involved in food production at a local park, how we might get those products to people via GP surgeries and other settings, and how we can share the rich knowledge that exists in people and communities on making nutritious, affordable, simple healthy meals – even for one. We know there are groups out there doing collective cooking too, and how important this can be in not just skill development, but in having fun, meeting people and eating together. Food is an amazing social glue.
In the next 6 months the Kindling Trust will be linking with GP surgeries – working mainly with 3 to start with, to think about how we can get more people involved in Woodbank Park, and how we can get fresh veg to people as a sort of social prescribing. We will start small, and as we develop capacity, we want to think big. We think there is scope to bring together existing activity, nurture new, and for a movement to develop in this space. We want to engage people more broadly – linking with public health campaigns, having a stall at the fantastic Foodie Friday at Stockport market place, mapping what’s already going on, and very importantly, being led and delivered directly by people using health and social care services addressing whats important to them in relation to this agenda.
We want to stimulate discussion on these issues, create some opportunities for people to get active, share skills and meet people – and for people to shape this and lead it.
Some of the organisations involved so far are: Starting Point, Pure Innovations, Beechwood Cancer Care, Public Health, Alvanley Health Centre, the Targeted Prevention Alliance, Stockport Homes, Stockport Local Assistance Scheme, Kindling Trust.
For more information, contact Carey Bamber firstname.lastname@example.org