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Giving you Food For Thought...

By Sarah Groves, also posted in News on

[caption id="attachment_17851" align="alignleft" width="244"]Food for thought logo
The Food for Thought logo was developed by Adnams Head of Creative Jess Turner with Flegg High School pupils[/caption]

Growing food, growing people, growing business…

Did you know that some of the fresh, seasonal produce you tuck into at Adnams Hotels and pubs may have been grown by local school children? The Adnams’ Food for Thought Project sprang to life in 2015 from a social-enterprise idea fostered between Project Manager Siobhan Eke and Dr Andy Wood, Adnams’ Chief Executive. The project currently works with two schools in East Anglia to develop entrepreneurial skills, raise aspirations and self-awareness as well as encourage healthy eating by growing and marketing their own fresh fruit and vegetables. Flegg High School in Norfolk and Wenhaston Primary School in Suffolk are the first to benefit from this fully-funded initiative, and it is hoped that further schools in the region will get involved over the coming year. [caption id="attachment_17853" align="alignright" width="372"]Wenhaston school with equipment donated by Fiskars Wenhaston Primary School pupils proudly brandishing their new spades, forks and brushes kindly donated by Fiskars[/caption] Growing fruit and vegetables is a fun and powerful portal for learning on many different levels. As well as learning to value the food we eat, it also fosters an understanding of the amount of effort needed and length of times it takes to grow good food. Growing vegetables is also a practical way to explore maths and science by using counting, multiplication, and estimation skills as well as learning about biology and soil science. This is extended further through developing entrepreneurial skills, where schools are encouraged to develop and market a small business to sell their fresh produce to Adnams Hotels and pubs. They have also succeeded in gaining support and equipment from generous businesses: a virtuous circle! What is 'Food for Thought'? [caption id="attachment_17854" align="alignleft" width="300"]Tomatoes-at-Wenhaston Tomatoes grown with love at Wenhaston Pimary School[/caption] Siobhan Eke, Project Manager, explains. "The Food for Thought project aims to grow children as well as food! Our goal is for all pupils to develop a breadth of knowledge, capabilities, and life-skills, which they, the schools, Ofsted, future employers and business value and require. The pupils have the opportunity to try out different roles in the team and develop self-awareness and confidence. We appreciate that schools are busy and demanding places, where national curriculum goals need to be met - the programme incorporates a lot of these requirements. Equally important is that it nurtures the individual attributes and personal development for 'happy human capital' - good for the individual as well as society, for the long term. We aim to build pupil confidence, develop positive self-esteem and a 'can-do' mindset as well as teaching vital communication skills and the value of collaboration and teamwork. The positive reactions and results from a wide range of pupils - from 5 to 15 years old - touches, inspires and enthuses me. You can see it right from the moment the first seeds of the 'Food for Thought' philosophy are planted. I genuinely wish every child, business, and community, had the opportunity to be involved in a similar endeavour. We'd all be richer for it, and reap the rewards..." [caption id="attachment_17855" align="alignright" width="322"]Gardening-Club-at-Fleggburgh-High-School Gardening Club at Flegg High School[/caption] Adnams' Head of Human Resources, Sadie Lofthouse, comments, "Everyone working with Adnams understands how important it is that we contribute to and support the education of young people within our communities. They are potentially our future employees and their success will help build a stronger, healthier and more prosperous society for us all. From primary school pupils to university students, Adnams aims to have a positive impact on their learning and development. This isn't an entirely selfless act on our part as those of us that get actively involved in working with young people have a lot of fun and benefit hugely from the experience too. [caption id="attachment_17856" align="alignleft" width="181"]Mint grown at Fleggburgh Mint from Flegg is used by The White Horse at Blakeney for mint sorbet as well as for making mojitos and Pimms in the summer![/caption] The Food for Thought project allows us to establish a long-term relationship with schools and students and we believe the project has real potential to benefit the wider community. Early results have been great, and I'm confident the project will go from strength to strength."

How you can get involved

You can find out more about the Food for Thought project by following Wenhaston Primary School's excellent blog. If you know of a school or community project that could benefit from this project, or can volunteer some of your time, skills or resources to the Food for Thought project, then please contact Siobhan, she'd love to hear from you. [caption id="attachment_17857" align="alignright" width="150"]Fresh vegetable delivery to Stephen at The Crown Fresh vegetable delivery to Stephen at The Crown[/caption] In the meantime, look out for some tasty dishes at The Swan and The Crown Hotels (our Chef Stephen has created a chutney from part of Wenhaston Primary School's produce), and you may find some very delicious potatoes on the menu at The White Horse at Blakeney grown by Flegg High School.  


Sarah Groves