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Good Food Matters Charity
The Community Food Learning Centre is a resource for the community and professionals alike.
Our mission is to enable everyone to cook and grow, healthy and nutritious balanced meals that include a fundamental understanding of what a balanced diet involves.
Tailored to the individual so that over the long term they can enjoy better health and wellbeing and reduce the likelihood of developing serious chronic conditions and long-term to reduce child and adult obesity, type ii diabetes and impact positively on physical and mental wellbeing and the overarching community
The Centre, located in the middle of New Addington and Fieldway proved to be the perfect location for the Community Food Learning Centre.
Good Food Matters (GFM) a charity founded by Evelyn Findlater MBE and was the combination of 30 years of experience writing and teaching health cookery and growing food sustainably in schools, to disadvantaged groups and especially disengaged young people. Frustrated by teaching small ‘positive activities’ to these groups still isolated from their community she decided that a Community Food Learning Centre could help them become part of their community. – they wouldn’t need to say goodbye. Over eight years she managed to raise over £780,000 to create a community assesst of great social and ecollogical value for Croydon.
In our first year of being built GFM was so fortunate to have been chosen to be a key deliverey partner of Croydon’s successful Food Flagship program funded by the GLA Food Team and with a remit to address childhood obesity, early onset Type ii diabetes and ensure more food was eaten in Croydon and was grown in Croydon. GFM fully met or exceeded the SLA outcomes. This programme, although daunting helped us enormously to bring so many people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds together and was the best start we could have wished for. It took every waking hour of our small team to fulfill our remit. Not being able to continue with this programme over a reasonably longer period of time unfortunately means that we cannot offer these incredibly successful free courses to the many enquiries we get from local people and organisations such as CRISIS, Pathwaze, Family Cdentre, Playplace, DROPIN, BEATS and proffesionals such as Looked after childerens services, PRUS, Schools and colleges.
At a time when Croydon is struggling with increasing childhood and adult obesity, Type II diabetes and diminishing budgets and escalating health issues surely a preventative approach that looks at food, food growing, weight and life style is ever more urgently needed
The program independently evaluated by the GLA demonstrated that enagaging with GFM has made a real difference in terms of how people eat and prepare food as well as developing Food Skills for Life.Lessons learnt from this pilot program are about the challenges of enagaging with those hardest to reach people who often have multiple barriers to achiving positive outcomes and to build in at the beginning of a program the outcome measures and tools. Another lesson learnt is that so many people, not just poorer people but teachers, nurses, and other professionals running businnes and community organisations, haven’t a clue what a balanced diet is and so may have no cooking skills.
The recent NICE and NHS guidance shows how imprtant it is to upskill those at risk of these chronic long term condistions in order to prevent massive costs longerterm.
Unless our healthy eating guidelines, including the Eat Well Plate, is accompanied with hands on healthy cookery classes we will not be able to properly address childhood obesity the early onset Type ii diabetes and other life threatening diseases. Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive says NHS needs to do far more to stop the public getting fatter, with two thirds of Britons now overweight or obese, and unhealthy lifestyles linked to around 20,000 early deaths a year.
GPs will be asked to contact those whose weight puts them at risk of diabetes, to offer tailored help to shed the pounds, with free cookery lessons, nutrition advice, and exercise classes including Zumba and walking groups.
This is a pivitoll. The new NHS programme is now at last promoting the teaching of cookery not just for patients but for NHS professionals. Yes cooking good food cost more then talking about it. We at GFM are now learning and planning how to focus on what to grow most of in our gardens that will help to bring the cost of food for session a little cheaper. We are such a new project and we need help from Croydon Council,Public health and the CCG to continue with our good work for at least until March 2019. By then we should have had a positive response from other funders who are more likely to joint fund us if we are being partly funded by Public Health & CCG. We need time to grow or we will have to let our staff go very soon as although a devoted team they are getting anxious about their future. “Obesity is the world’s fastest-growing health risk, with poor diet responsible for one in five deaths.” NICE. Our nutrition and cooking tutor ( BSc MSC nutrition) has a background in public health cooking and we are very keen to retain the experience in Croydon.
What we have achieved
- Fully met GLA Food Flagship program outcomes and made IMPACT on behavioural changes of those 450 individuals connected with the program
- Community Fund – working with local foodbank to run cooking courses, food for those most in need
- Key delivery partner for Natural Health service in Croydon and developing social prescribing model in Croydon
- Key provider of support for families suffering holiday hunger (150+)
- Developed a pilot program for eating for positive wellbeing for SLAM that has been re booked following positive feedback *
Good Food Matters
Find us at Mickleham way