Thank you, now get creative – Foodcycle Bristol wins a funding prize from TFN

Last week Bristol Foodcycle were kindly awarded an amazing £3,700 at The Funding Network Bristol. This means the rest of our budget is relatively safe so we warmly invite anyone interested in Foodcycle to think big about how we might grow in the next year. Send any great ideas to foodcyclebristol@gmail.com or post them to our facebook page.

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There was tension in the air. Darkness had fallen over beautiful Bristol whilst Nathan, Amy & Jonathan made their separate ways towards their beacon, the beautiful and ornate Mansion House, overlooking Clifton downs, to make a Dragon’s Den – style presentation to the Bristol Funding Network. TFN is a group of socially-engaged entrepreneurs from around Bristol who come together to support young and growing charities through a fun event that looks a bit like an auction.

We set up our stall. Jonathan’s nerves could only be settled by more flapjack than is surely healthy for a trainee doctor and food-campaigner, whilst Nathan cooly and calmly held the fort, luring people to the stall with his unbeatable charm. Amy eloquently described us to people passing by, explaining that Bristol rescues almost a tonne of food from being wasted per month, turns it into delicious meals with the community of Easton, including some hungry, homeless and refugee groups. She talked about all the exciting work of the volunteers, the awareness events at the student restaurant, our schools workshop, garden project and future dreams and schemes.

We pitched alongside some other fantastic charities of Bristol, including a children-led arts project in Knowle, a project that helps sighted and blind people to cycle together, a music and prisoners charity. We were asking for funding to support new training for our volunteers, so we can be more professional at what we do, as well as funding for new bikes and kitchen equipment. Our incredibly helpful supporter and advocate, Pete Yeo, gave a speech about us whilst we left the room and the funders started their bidding. We’re not sure exactly what happened next but obviously TFN liked our bid because when we returned we were told we came second and won almost £4,000!

In a world where one in six people go hungry every day, a third of the world’s food supply could be saved by reducing waste – enough to feed 3 billion people. So much of our time and resources are commodified and sold for the highest profit margins and Foodcycle promotes the principle that we should reconsider the instrinsic value of food and promote healthy, community meals. Creating sustainable alternatives to food poverty and systemic food waste is necessary. Meanwhile, Foodcycle can continue its work to combat food waste and poverty thanks to its volunteers, Pete Yeo and the kind folk at TFN. Thank you everyone for growing with us and contributing to this exciting network of passionate food-ies.

So now we invite you to get creative, and to dream. This grant gives us the security of better infrastructure, more training and our basic supplies. So what next? how can we continue to grow and improve? What would you like to see Foodcycle do now?

Please send us any ideas by email or post them on our facebook, and, if you’re interested, we will invite you to talk about it further at our upcoming visioning meeting.

To all of you, thank you.

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