African charity opportunity awarded in Oxford Brookes' kitchen garden competition
Anne-Marie Owens, the Head Gardener for Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons hotel and restaurant, chose a winner in the Best Brookes Vegetable Plot competition as part of the university’s successful kitchen garden scheme.
: Compass Group
Compass Group news team
Friday 24 June 2011
The winner of the competition was Oxford Brookes student Ben Wilkins who has been given a life-changing opportunity to implement a similar scheme in Africa. Ben will be travelling to Malawi to help set up a kitchen garden for a scheme being sponsored by Oxford Brookes through the charity the One Foundation. This kitchen garden will be created on the site of a school-based PlayPump water system which was also introduced through the support of Oxford Brookes.
Ben, who starts the third year of his Master of Osteopathy degree course next semester, explained why he took on the allotment at Wheatley: "I wanted to learn how to grow vegetables and live sustainably. The best bit is having fresh herbs to use in cooking, although the worst bit is cycling seven miles each way from Oxford! The trip to Malawi is a great chance to learn about gardening in another continent."
As part of the scheme which began in November 2010, twenty four kitchen garden plots producing seasonal fruit and vegetables were created at Oxford Brookes' Wheatley campus. The project was funded by Chartwells, the university's catering provider, and students and staff were given the opportunity to sign up for the plots for a small annual fee of £5.
Phillipa Fletcher, Conference and Commercial Services Manager for Brookes, who has led on the project for the university said: "We are delighted to be working with the One Foundation and the excellent work they do in supporting some of the poorest communities in Africa. It will be a fantastic experience for Ben as the winner of the best plot to be able to deliver the benefits of self-grown produce to some of the world’s poorest communities where it is needed most.
"Oxford Brookes has a strong commitment towards increasing the positive impact on our environments and communities. The Campus Kitchen Garden project is a further example of Oxford Brookes supporting local sustainability as well as our wider community, and I am delighted that it has been such a great success.
Catherine Fleming, General Manager for Chartwells said, "The enthusiasm from the students about the development of the Campus Kitchen Garden has been fantastic and I am thrilled that they have managed to do so much with their plots in such a short space of time. It has been great for Chartwells to work with the University on such a worthwhile initiative and I am really proud of the results."
Notes to Editors:
Attached with this press release are images from the judging competition this week.
Oxford Brookes University, in partnership with Chartwells, has been extremely successful in promoting the importance of creating a sustainable environment to staff and students. It was the first Fairtrade University in the UK as well as the first UK University to gain Marine Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certification.
The Chartwells team at Oxford Brookes University has also recently been awarded Food for the Brain accreditation for its commitment to encouraging students to eat healthy nutritious food. Food for the Brain is a not-for-profit charity devoted to promoting awareness of the links between learning, behaviour, mental health and nutrition.
The PlayPump water system was introduced for Nkhonde School in Malawi through a Brookes initiative which provides 1339 children and the local community with a sustainable supply of fresh, clean water improving health, hygiene and providing much needed irrigation.
Chartwells, (www.chartwells.co.uk) part of Compass Group UK & Ireland, is the leading provider of catering and support services to schools, colleges and universities in the UK. Chartwells works with over 2,000 education units including primary schools, secondary schools, independent schools, colleges and universities. Central to Chartwells is its Eat, Learn, Live ethos which helps to educate young people about how to have a happy, safe and healthy lifestyle while contributing to a sustainable world.
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