I became a Community Champion because I wanted to do something meaningful for the local community and meet other like-minded people. I have to say that my experience has overcome by far my expectations, mainly because of the depth and relevance of the projects I have been involved in. I feel passionate about accessing fresh food and fighting food waste and I have mainly focused on those two areas. However, as the leading environmental charity in the bureau, Sustainable Merton offers a wide range of initiatives tackling different issues. From Food waste, to sustainable energy to air quality, amongst others.
During the eight months that I've been a Community Champion, I’ve had the opportunity to apply my professional Communications, Marketing and Branding skills to help set-up the first Community Fridge in Merton, aiming to alleviate food poverty and reduce food waste in the bureau. I even joined other Community Champions in the 2.6 fundraising challenge to raise money for the Fridge which involved meditating for 2 hours 6 minutes! I’ve learned some handy gardening skills while volunteering at the Phipps Bridge Community Garden (I strongly recommend gardening for the positive effect on your physical and mental health). I have also been able to take part in some of the emergency initiatives that Sustainable Merton has put in place during the Covid 19 lockdown, like dropping off surplus food from big supermarkets to be distributed by local emergency groups.
Along the way, I’ve met some amazing people who really care for their community as well as having expanded my knowledge and experience around sustainability. Most importantly, I have added some new recipes to my "cooking repertoire" using the fresh produce I harvested at Phipps Bridge! (broad bean salad and potatoes with chard have become new favourites!).