Community Food Links: exploring options for collaborations

‘Community Food Links: exploring options for collaborations’, is run by the Brighton-Sussex Food Research Network (BSFRN) in co-operation with the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership.  Date and time below.
Date: Monday, 15th April 2013
Time: 09:30 16:00
To register, please click here. The organizers would like to ensure a broad range of participants from different types of organisations can attend, so will confirm places via email.
The event format is a one day workshop that will be attended by academics, activist organisations, community groups and food businesses that are primarily based in and around Brighton/Sussex. It includes a complementary local, seasonal and ethically sourced lunch.
What can you expect from the event?
  • If you are a food organisation (whether community-led, social enterprise, business, charity, etc.), explore research that could benefit your work, identify opportunities for future collaborations, and work with researchers to drive positive social change.
  • If you are a researcher, explore how to improve your research impact, network and develop partnerships with practitioner organisations, and design research that has a social purpose and can deliver real change.

Back online!

We’re back online to post about the local food project and our plans for the new year!

While we’ve been offline on this website, work on the project has been proceeding apace over our Christmas ‘break’. We’ve been pushing to complete our survey, and we’re excited to announce that we’re nearly there!  So far, 281 responses. But we see that some 74 questionnaires were begun and not yet completed.  If these were finished up, we’d have a total of 355 – which is 55 more than our original target, and that would be super. So, if you’ve started and not finished, or if you’re inclined to give it a go, please could we ask you to spare a few moments of your time and click here? Though the time taken to complete each survey has varied between respondents, we’re still averaging about 10 minutes per respondent to complete the survey. Which is not bad!

We’ve also begun work on our second phase of data collection, which involves participatory workshops in Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk. Our first workshop will be in Norfolk on the 1st of February and we’re looking forward to it. We’ll be meeting with people from Master Gardner in Norfolk – who’ve recently also done work with the University of Coventry around health and community.Once we’re done we’ll post a short summary and pictures here.

In the meanwhile, we’re spending time designing our workshop, and continuing with the (mammoth) task of reviewing the literature on local food to try and sieve out references to health and well-being. And we’re working on the final details for our upcoming Food in Transition workshop.

So we’re planning, and reading, and designing and moving forward. Watch this space!

[Cover Photo for this post: Jules Pretty]

Local Food and Well-being: Our questionnaire is now online!

Photo: Jules Pretty

We’ve begun data collection on our Local Food and Well-being project!  We are looking for people from Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk to spend a few minutes filling in the questions here:

We’re doing the first major study on the links between local food and well-being and we would really like to hear from you if you live in Essex, Norfolk or Suffolk. The study will help us to contribute to local initiatives in health, well-being and sustainable living. We’re excited to be able to base it within our local area and are keen to base our findings on a wide range of opinions.

Filling in the survey should take less than 15 minutes of your time. Please also feel free to circulate this survey to friends and family who live in these counties. It’s really important that we have as many responses as possible!

If you would like more information about the research, please contact Dr. Zareen Bharucha (zpbhar at We’ll also post regular updates here as data starts to come in.

We’ve begun! Our new research project will explore the links between local food and wellbeing in the East of England (Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk).  Regular updates here.

‘Wellbeing’ is currently a fashionable concept. Just out this week, the Office of National Statistics have released a number of publications on the measurement of national wellbeing, which includes interactive tools for local mapping of wellbeing. These map counties and local authorities in terms of scores along four dimensions: respondents ‘life satisfaction’, ‘worthwhileness’, ‘happiness’ and ‘anxiety’. All four dimensions were measured on a 10-point scale; key findings are listed here and results are here.

Maps show that Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex score in-line with or above UK-wide percentages of respondents reporting medium or high life satisfaction; all three counties have a higher percentage of respondents reporting feelings of happiness than the UK-wide figure. Finally, compared with national averages, Suffolk and Essex had a lower percentage of people reporting having felt ‘high or very high anxiety yesterday’ than the UK-wide percentage, but Norfolk was higher.