WHO ARE WE?

The Christchurch Food Festival Education Trust (CFFET) is a registered charity, number 1127292, run by a board of Trustees with aims as set out in its Trust deed. These are to:

“Advance education and promote the health of the residents of Christchurch area by providing and / or assisting in the provision of education, training and guidance on nutritional health and food preparation.”

The Trust was formed in 2007 in order to achieve the educational aims of the Christchurch Food Festival. The formalisation of this work was a result of the increasing demand for the Festival’s work in schools, where students are provided with curriculum-related healthy eating and food preparation demonstrations with local chefs. As the work became more popular it was decided to set up a charity. Trustees were sought and in 2008 the charity was registered.

Since then, the Trust has undertaken a range of courses across all ages and situations around the Christchurch area. We provide grants for food and cooking education, events and courses: and so enable the Food Festival’s education work to continue. Our primary school cookery days are increasingly popular and continue to take place in most Christchurch junior schools, where we cook with over 1,000 children over a three-month period.

Several Life Skills cookery courses have been held in conjunction with local secondary schools to assist those students with special needs to gain confidence for the future. The courses have proved invaluable and have achieved great results. Additional funding has also allowed us to develop a project for all the year nine students in our secondary schools, where students learn enhanced cooking techniques and presentation skills from a leading local chef.

Our work needs funding and depends entirely upon donations. The Trust has received support from both Christchurch and Highcliffe Rotary Clubs, and is the recipient of money raised by the Festival’s charitable fundraising. We have also worked closely with the Waitrose Community Fund and Green Token Scheme. We also received generous donations from local landladies’ fundraising and from some local businesses.

We have also run fourteen extremely popular Kids Kitchen events during the annual Christchurch Food Festival which have involved sessions ranging from very young children to workshops for parents and children to cook together.

In 2018 we received a large donation from the will of Mrs Jean Hart, a local lady who wished to see her money used for the benefit of young people in the area. This has secured the future of our work and enabled us to expand our work in schools.

OVERVIEW

Changes in the teaching of food in schools over the past thirty-five years have had a detrimental effect on the nations eating habits. Most children were only taught the basics of cooking and many were not taught to cook at all. With most families having both parents working, time for cooking has become very limited and has led to a huge increase in ready prepared and take away food. These ‘ready to go’ foods all have a place in the nation’s diet. However, they should not replace home cooked food served with fresh vegetables on a daily basis. Ready prepared food often contain too many preservatives, fat and sugar. thereby depriving children of vital nutrients essential for a healthy diet.

Changes in the teaching of food in schools over the past thirty-five years have had a detrimental effect on the nation’s eating habits. Most children were taught only the basics of cooking, and many were not taught to cook at all. With most families having both parents working, time for cooking has become very limited, and this has led to a huge increase in the use of ready-prepared and take-away food. These ‘ready-to-go’ foods all have a place in the nation’s diet, but should not replace home-cooked food served with fresh vegetables on a daily basis. Ready-prepared food often contains too many preservatives and too much fat and sugar, thereby depriving children of vital nutrients essential for a healthy diet.

CHILDHOOD OBESITY

The result of these changes in eating habits has been an enormous rise in childhood obesity. The World Health Organization (WHO) regards childhood obesity as one of the most serious global public health challenges for the 21st century. Obese children and adolescents are at an increased risk of developing various health problems and are also more likely to become obese adults.

We know that over a third of children leaving primary school are overweight or obese, which makes them much more likely to be overweight or obese as adults, and considerably increases their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems such as cancer and heart disease. Many residents in Dorset have become too fat – in fact 60% of people are now classified as overweight. A major research project undertaken by Public Health England stated that the indirect cost of obesity could be as much as £27 billion p.a..

POSITIVE CHANGES IN THE SCHOOL’S CURRICULUM

The Christchurch Food Festival Education Trust became a registered charity in 2008, but has been working with local schools since the year 2000. We have supported the campaigns run by high-profile chefs and food organisations and are delighted to see that changes to the national curriculum mean that the teaching of food has been made compulsory for all children up to year 9 (aged 14), including those in primary schools.

Changes to the GCSE curriculum took place in secondary schools in September 2016, when all existing food courses were changed and were replaced by cookery and nutrition. As part of their work with food, pupils should be taught how to cook and to apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will also open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, both now and in later life.

In the new curriculum, pupils should be taught to:

KEY STAGE 3

  • understand and apply the principles of nutrition and health.
  • cook a repertoire of predominantly savoury dishes so that they are able to feed themselves and others with a healthy and varied diet.
  • become competent in a range of cooking techniques [for example, selecting and preparing ingredients; using utensils and electrical equipment; applying heat in different ways; using awareness of taste, texture and smell to decide how to season dishes and combine ingredients; adapting and using their own recipes].
  • understand the source, seasonality and characteristics of a broad range of ingredients.

Please note that the area marked in brackets is not mandatory, but this is where the work of our Trust is so valuable.

We are also pleased to support the Change4Life campaign which endeavours to encourage children to change salty and sweet snacks for healthier options and to inform families of healthy meal recipes and ideas.

When visiting schools, we have been relieved to see the increase in free school meals for children up to and including Key Stage 1, as research shows that it is often the only nutritious meal served that day.

MEET THE TEAM

Julie Ratcliffe
Chairman & Treasurer

Mary Reader
Home Economist & Education Organiser

Karen Dadds
Head of Special Needs & Home Economist

Tim Lloyd
MD of the Captains Club Hotel

Colette Neaum
Public Sector Administration

Charmaine Midgley
Primary School Governor