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Bristol ‘Big Picnic’ encourages schools to get growing across the city

big picnic 1Over the next 10 days, fifteen ‘Big Picnics’ will take place across Bristol, an initiative led by national awards programme, the Food for Life Partnership (FFLP) and delivered by local providers who have generously given up their time. At each picnic, taking place during Bristol Big Green Week, up to 30 pupils per school will bring along a food plant they have grown to swap with another school, and enjoy special workshops and cookery demonstrations around the theme of sustainable food.

The Food for Life Partnership has been commissioned by Bristol Healthy Schools, with a focus on encouraging children and families to get growing. Glyn Owen, Bristol’s Local Programme Manager and the driving force behind the picnics said, “I’m really excited with how well-received the picnics have been! This project is a journey; from the children planting seeds, to caring for and nurturing the plants, to enjoying the picnics and now most importantly, its legacy. I can’t wait to see lots of children walking around Bristol carrying plants they have been given at the picnics and continuing growing at home and at school”.

big picnic 2Thrilled to be supporting the Big Picnic, Rachel Cooke, Food in School Dietitian at Bristol Healthy Schools said, “What a great idea this is – to support schools to engage with other schools, share ideas, best practice, resources and good food! This project empowers children and young people of Bristol to make long-term healthy lifestyle choices and is something both Bristol Healthy Schools and the Food for Life Partnership are working to achieve”. Many local suppliers and businesses have given their time for free as well as some of the picnics being organised thanks to funding from Bristol Green Capital’s Neighbourhood Partnerships.

Helen Howard, Schools Partnership Manager, Orchard School who will be hosting a picnic on Thursday 18th June at The Community Centre, Rear of Eden Grove Methodist Church, said: “We at Orchard School and the With One Voice Partnership were excited to be asked to run one of the Food for Life Partnership’s Big Picnics. Improving the life chances of the families in our community is central to everything we do and we believe the Big Picnic will be a fun and enriching event that will help cement the learning that goes on in the classroom and really bring the learning to life”. 

More information on the Big Picnics below.

For more Food related projects, check out the Bristol Green Capital Partnership’s Food Action Group page.

Date: Wednesday 17th June. Where: Windmill Hill City Farm, Philip Street

The day is set up to be a picnic for the Early Years age group, including families as well, led by Jo Ingleby, recently crowned BBC Food & Farming Cook of the Year and Chef at Redcliffe Nursery and Children’s Centre, Bristol.

They will be hosting 90 minute sessions all day from 8.30-3.30 to allow for all of the children at Redcliffe, Family Services and Windmill Hill Nursery to attend (about 200 in total!). During each session there will be either 3 or 4 activities which they will all do in small groups in rotation:

  • Cooking Pizzas/breads in the farm’s cob oven in the outdoor kitchen
  • Gardening and growing with Julie from the Farm (each child will take home a planted seed and we are planting veg on the day
  • Music-farm related songs around the pond
  • Fit for Tots work out (this is for the afternoon sessions only)

Date: Thursday 18th June. Where: The Community Centre, Rear of Eden Grove Methodist Church, Eden Grove, Horfield

  • Cooking workshops will be hosted by Clare Thompson (from 5 o’clock apron, Guardian and cookbook writer)
  • There will be gardening workshops led by Darran McLane and children will take home their own herb garden.
  • An Eco/composting workshop will be led by Monica Maya, from the Food for Life Partnership.
  • Sports workshop led by bronze FFLP hosts, Orchard School, who are filming the whole day

Date: Thursday 18th June. Where: Ashton Vale Primary, Avebury Road

Ashton Vale Primary is a Food for Life Partnership silver school with a great food culture.  All classes do a lot of fantastic growing and cooking and always invite families and the community into the school to see what the children are doing, hosting international food days, roast dinner day and they keep their own chickens!

  • On the day, Mark’s Bread, an artisan baker from North Street will be making bread with the children.
  • Bristol City Community Trust will be leading a sports workshop based on how food helps our bodies.
  • There will be an eco-workshop/composting presented by Monica Wilkinson, volunteer from Bristol Green Capital.
  • All children will be visiting the local Ashton Vale allotments, throughout the day.

Date: Friday 19th June. Where: Hill Crest Primary School, Cemetery Road

  • Hill Crest is hosting their first School Farmers Market, where pupils sell homemade and grown produce, along with local producers.  Children are responsible for organising it and running it and any profits go back to the school to funding other cooking or growing activities.   Ruby & White butchers will be doing a demo on butchery at the School Farmers Market.
  • There will also be a workshop, where children will be shown how to grow mushrooms on coffee grounds, led by local coffee shop, Small Street Espresso
  • FFLP Farm Links officer Will Marcombe will be delivering a workshop around making growing kits for children to engage with.
  • Jenny Chandler from the Plum Cooking Company will be preparing a healthy vegetarian salad with children.

Date: Friday 19th June. Where: Bristol Metropolitan Academy, Snowdon Road

  • There is a gardening workshop led by the What Happens Next project, where pupils will be planting basil to take home.
  • There is a cookery workshop led by Shane Jordan, making a ‘collaborative coleslaw’.
  • BMA Pupils will be leading a cooking workshop and prizes will be given for the best answers in BMA’s ‘Name that Fruit, Veg and Herb’ Lunchtime Quiz.
  • Physical activity workshop led by Bristol Met. The school has nearly achieved their FFLP bronze award and their neighbouring special school, Brianwood School will also be joining in the activities.
Events, Food, Public & School Education
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