23 November 2011

GUEST BLOG: Thanks for the funding!

By guest blogger JULIET LAWSON

The whole team turned out on Thursday night at Chorlton Baths for the Chorlton U Decide event, where we all had to do presentations on our projects explaining why we deserved a share of the £7,500 that was up for grabs from Manchester City Council. There were 13 presentations in all, with some really interesting projects including Envirolution’s pop-up farms and Transition City Manchester’s fascinating garden exchange scheme which aims to connect fruit and veg growers in Chorlton with people who have a bit of garden to spare. I’ve put my name down for that one myself.

Cracking Good Food were asking for funding to run workshops again at Chorlton's Big Green Festival in March 2012. Our Cracking Cook and Masterchef finalist Jackie Kearney has agreed to run the workshops but our grant funding will have ended by then, so we couldn’t be there without some new cash - especially as we want to give half the workshop places for free to people who are not in work. Jackie’s sessions at Chorlton High continue to be really popular but there are plenty of people who will struggle to afford the booking fee at the moment and since she cooks fantastic but actually very cheap street food, we want to open it out and give away some free places, so that more people can learn to cook amazing food really cheaply.

Our presentation was a bit different. We did it in the style of a cookery programme, with all four of the team (Adele, me, Fiona and Ragna) chipping in. Fiona was the star of the show, putting in a very convincing Fanny Craddock-style performance! It definitely got a few laughs and we managed to throw in a few key messages as well.

After all the presentations, everyone there who lives in the Chorlton ward voted for the projects in order of preference then, while the votes were counted, we had delicious sandwiches and cakes courtesy of Barbakan, and entertainment in the form of an excellent children's singing group from Oswald Road Primary School and a folk band. Very impressive for a Thursday night at Chorlton Baths!

And then the announcements... we were absolutely flabbergasted, but really really pleased when it turned out that ours was the most popular of all 13 projects. It means our Green Festival future is secure, at least for next year, so see you there on 31 March. We thought it appropriate to celebrate with a swift half over the road at Pi. Thanks to everyone who voted for Cracking Good Food!

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