The Real Food Project Team from Wythenshawe Community Housing Group (WCHG) that encourages local residents to eat healthily with a message of ‘Grow it! Cook it! Eat it!’ has made it through to the shortlist for a national award that celebrates the best community projects.
The Real Food Team project was among those selected from almost 180 entries for the National Housing Federation’s Community Impact Awards.
The awards celebrate the difference that England’s housing associations make through creating opportunities and bringing local communities together. More than 60 projects were shortlisted, across four categories: Better neighbourhoods; Greener living; Health and wellbeing, and Investing in people.
Real Food Wythenshawe is a 5 year £1million Big Lottery funded community food campaign that was launched in September 2012, with match funding from key partners. The project came about from the successful Real Lives Wythenshawe Campaign which was created to challenge the outdated and negative images of the community of Wythenshawe.
The main aim of this Project is to inspire the people of Wythenshawe about the food they eat, with a slogan of ‘Grow it. Cook it. Eat it!” From plant to plate, the campaign, which is led by Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, encourages and supports residents to take control over what they and their families eat by promoting ways that people can grow their own produce, learn to cook healthy, economical meals using local, seasonal produce. It demonstrates that healthy eating and ‘real food’ is possible for everyone, regardless of age, budget, ability or time.
WCHG staff and The Real Food Team will have their fingers crossed as the project goes up against other regional schemes on 30 April in Manchester. It will be competing to win the regional award in the Federation’s ‘Health and Wellbeing category.
The winning regional projects will join others from around the country in the national shortlist and a national judging day will decide which of the final category winners goes to the national finals in central London on 12 June 2014.
David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, says: “We’ve had some fantastic submissions through for this year’s awards and the judges have had a tough job to do to select those shortlisted. Wythenshawe Community Housing Group should feel very proud indeed – it is no small feat to have made it this far. It’ll be all eyes now to see who goes through to the finals.”
Nigel Wilson, Group Chief Executive of WCHG said: “The Real Food team are doing a fantastic job in Wythenshawe. They have an army of enthusiastic volunteers who are all working hard to ensure that people understand the food that they eat. Simple changes to the way people eat can have a big impact on their health and wellbeing and we are delighted that the judges have acknowledged this in shortlisting the Project for these Awards.”