Borough Market Launches ‘Market Explorers’: Free Kid-Friendly Food Education Resource for Families

On 22nd June, London’s iconic Borough Market is launching ‘Market Explorers’, a free education resource aimed at connecting primary school children with the food they eat. With the curriculum in mind, children will be encouraged to look at how produce is grown or made, its history, preparation, cooking and how the ingredients are used in the dishes of different cultures.

Borough Market is a charitable trust and has a commitment to providing a market for public benefit and community. With school groups and children unable to currently explore, touch and taste food at the Market due to social distancing measures, the fun learning resources have been created to help parents to inspire their mini masterchefs at home during the Summer Term.

Six ‘Market Explorers’ units will be piloted initially, focusing on a different ingredient each time. The first two ingredients for children to explore are cauliflower and milk. Subsequent units and accompanying videos will be released on Mondays and Wednesdays for three weeks to support home schooling parents through to the school holidays. The free to download A5 booklets will have a range of engaging information and activities aimed at 5-8 year olds, and budding foodies can look forward to learning more about strawberries, bread, honey and tomatoes later in the month.

Parents are encouraged to sign up ahead of time to access the free educational materials, which will be available on Facebook Units, enabling social learning in a private group. Registration opens via https://www.facebook.com/groups/marketexplorers/ at 9am on Monday 15th June. Parents can join and explore at the same time, enabling them to ask questions and build a collaborative community. In line with Borough Market’s commitment to sustainability, the resources will also cover topics such as seasonality and food waste.

The programme has been produced in collaboration with children’s cookery consultants Sally Brown & Kate Morris, who have created successful CBeebies cooking shows including ‘I Can Cook’ and ‘My World Kitchen’, as well as publishing four children’s cookery books. Sally and Kate have also worked extensively with teachers, local authorities and schools to devise and deliver training courses rooted in the current curriculum.

‘Market Explorers’ links to Borough Market’s existing work with London’s primary and secondary schools. To date over 20,000 children have learned valuable growing, cooking and selling skills through the Young Marketeers initiative – culminating in special biannual sales at the Market with profits going to food waste charity FareShare.

Kate Howell Director of Communications and Development at Borough Market, said: “Borough Market is all about sharing and connecting with others through the joy of food. We want to inspire the next generation of chefs, home cooks and food lovers. We know that not all children will be back at school in June, and so we thought that parents might like a helping hand with fun activities to get children interested in different ingredients – especially as so many have been cooking at home during lockdown. Our traders share a wealth of food expertise, with many of them being primary producers who grow, rear or create the food they sell. By teaching young people where their food has come from, how to grow it and what to make with it, we hope to inspire young people to take a more sustainable approach to their food choices in the future – perhaps we might see some of them join us as traders.”

Borough Market has a longstanding commitment to sustainability and reducing waste. None of the Market’s rubbish goes to landfill, with all cardboard, paper, plastic, glass and wood being recycled and the remaining food waste going to an anaerobic digestion plant to be turned into power, fertiliser and water. In 2017, Borough Market removed all plastic bottles and installed drinking fountains around the estate and in 2019 it became the first food market in the UK to replace plastic carrier bags with a fully biodegradable alternative, made from GM-free cornstarch.

Celebrities show off their paw-fect pooches to support the Great Guide Dogs Virtual Dog Show

As dog shows across the country continue to be cancelled or postponed, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Guide Dogs is giving people the opportunity to celebrate their canine companions and their talents, by hosting their first ever virtual dog show.

A host of celebrities are supporting the event, sharing their own pictures to inspire others to get creative with their canine friends.

Ainsley Harriott, who has submitted both video and photos of his dog Bobby, said: “The charity Guide Dogs does such fantastic work all year-round supporting people with sight loss, and that work is more important than ever now. I know I’m finding lockdown hard enough, but for people with sight loss, social isolation can happen every day.

“That’s why Bobby and I are so excited to support the Great Guide Dogs Virtual Dog Show. I hope many others will join us – so get those cameras out, get snapping and get entering!”

Ainsley Harriott and his dog Bobby
Ainsley Harriott and Bobby’s entry for the ‘Best Friends’ category.

The virtual dog show is open for entries now, via the Guide Dogs’ Facebook group: https://bit.ly/2AFd2yX. Participants can submit a photo or video into one of the 12 following categories, with two categories being released each week for six weeks:

  • Happiest Hound photo
  • Scruffiest Lockdown Dog photo
  • Best Friends photo
  • Picture Perfect photo
  • Golden Oldie photo
  • Sleeping Beauty photo
  • Waggiest Tail video
  • Doggy Divas video
  • Dog Athletics Superstar video
  • Doggy Paddle video
  • Top Trick video
  • Patient Pooches video

Plus there’s a bloopers category for those moments when filming might not entirely go to plan!

Nicola Walker and her dog Dora
Nicola Walker and Dora’s entry for the ‘Best Friend’ category.

As well as giving Brits the opportunity to show off their four-legged friends, the event is also being held to raise vital funds to support the sight loss community.

Over the next six weeks, participants will be encouraged to get their friends and family to “like” their entries and donate. From mid-July donation-based voting will take place over the semi-finals and finals, hosted on Tiltify.

Best in show will be announced in the second week of August.

Beth Marsh, Fundraising Special Projects Manager at Guide Dogs said: “As we continue life in lockdown, we wanted to give our supporters an opportunity to come together and be a part of an event, while also making a difference to others. This is our first ever virtual dog show and we are really excited to see how creative participants get with their entries.

“The welfare of our 8,000 dogs is still of utmost importance in these unprecedented times and we rely on donations to fund our work. Each of our life-changing dogs costs £13 a day to support – that’s £100,000 every single day. Voting is open to all – dog owners or not – giving everyone the chance to help us raise funds to support those in the UK living with sight loss.”

For more information please visit guidedogs.org.uk/virtual-dog-show

Brits call for investment in cleaner transport post COVID-19

As restrictions on movement remain in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, new research released today by the environmental charity Hubbub shows that 74% of us think COVID-19 has given society an opportunity to make some important changes to how we live. People are planning changes to their own travel behaviour and are calling for government investment in cleaner modes of transport, which will help reduce carbon emissions and air pollution.

Polling of a nationally representative sample of 3,000 UK adults conducted by Censuswide found that 62% of respondents had noticed cleaner air and would like to see this continue into the long term, and 75% said the same for quieter roads. Over half (55%) reported that they were enjoying exploring their local area with less vehicle fumes, rising to 60% for Greater London.

When asked about types of transport that the government should invest in, better local transport such as buses, tubes, trams and local trains came top of the list. 64% supported this, despite 29% saying they were finding travelling on public transport stressful at the moment. The popularity of investment in local transport was closely followed by investment in electric vehicle charging points, with 62% agreeing with this and incentivising electric vehicles, with 58% in favour.

Lockdown has seen a significant increase in the nation’s time spent walking and cycling, and this looks set to continue once restrictions are lifted. Respondents who were employed were asked to compare their life before COVID-19 with how they plan to travel to work when some semblance of normality resumes. 38% said they would walk more and 15% said they would cycle more.

However, people were keen for more support from government to make cycling safe. 39% have noticed safer cycling conditions and would like this to continue into the long term and 23% said that their confidence on a bike has increased due to the reduced levels of traffic. Over half (54%) supported government investment in cycle lanes and 44% in bike hire schemes.

In contrast, more polluting modes of transport were considerably less popular areas for investment. Only 1 in 3 (33%) supported investment in roads and under a quarter (24%) agreed with investment in airports, with 34% disagreeing with this. 34% agreed with investment in high speed rail.

Gavin Ellis, Director and Co-Founder of Hubbub said: “The shift to walking and cycling is great news for the nation’s health as well as the environment, and it’s encouraging to see some areas of the UK investing in safer roads for cyclists. It’s also positive to hear that over two thirds of those we polled believe it’s possible to have a strong economy and look after the environment, and this view is supported by the leading businesses we are bringing together through our series of Hubbub Explores virtual workshops to create a new vision for a better and fairer society moving forwards. We’d love more organisations to join us for future workshops, which will cover our relationship with food, how we get around and how we communicate environmental issues.”

For more information about Hubbub Explores, visit: https://www.hubbub.org.uk/hubbub-explores

O2 gifting smartphones to Southwark’s most vulnerable to help them stay connected

O2 gifting smartphones to Southwark’s most vulnerable to help them stay connected

O2 is partnering with environmental charity Hubbub to encourage people to donate old or unused smartphones to digitally disconnected members of the community, as part of a trial to tackle digital exclusion during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ‘Community Calling’ trial will initially involve 800 handsets being distributed to residents of Southwark in London.

1.9 million households in the UK don’t have access to the internet and are considered ‘digitally excluded ’. O2 and Hubbub hope to change this, starting with a trial in Southwark which aims to encourage people to donate 500 old or unused smartphones which will be gifted to vulnerable members of society.

The pre-identified list of households has been put together by a number of local organisations in Southwark. Their clients range from the elderly, those in low-income households, survivors of domestic abuse and asylum seekers. Within these groups, each organisation has identified those who would benefit most from a smartphone, based on providing access to essential services, online learning or getting connected to family and friends.

The project will invite members of the local Southwark community and surrounding areas to donate unused smartphones which will then be data-wiped, cleaned and refurbished by Recono.me ready for redistribution. O2 is donating an additional 300 handsets alongside providing pay as you go SIMs and top up to be used with the donated devices.

Unused phones
In the UK, an average of four phones sit unused for every phone in use. O2 and Hubbub hope the trial will demonstrate a feasible phone-gifting model whereby, unused, workable phones can be donated and redistributed to the disconnected across the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond, extending the life of the devices whilst ensuring that people can stay connected to loved ones and vital frontline support services.

Once complete, O2 and Hubbub will share the learnings from the trial to help inform recycling and re-use initiatives in other cities across the UK.

The trial builds on O2’s commitment in March to become a Net Zero business, tackling carbon emissions in its business and supply chain. O2 has the longest-running major UK network recycling initiative in the UK, where customers can trade in their old devices for cash incentives. The scheme has saved over 450 tonnes of mobile phone waste from going to landfill, with all devices received being data-wiped and reused or recycled.

Tracey Herald, Head of Partnerships and Social impact at O2 said “Connectivity is a lifeline for so many at this time – and with so many smart devices sitting in drawers at home, this project provides the perfect opportunity to dust them off for a good cause. The Southwark community has been particularly affected by the recent pandemic, so we’re working in partnership with Hubbub, the local council and community groups to ensure we can distribute these devices to those who need them most. The trial will help us tackle digital exclusion and help the environment too.”

Gavin Ellis, Director and Co-Founder at Hubbub said“Community Calling offers a simple way to get unused smartphones to people who need them most during the current pandemic, allowing them to access essential services, to educate their kids or to stay in touch with loved ones. Plus it has the bonus environmental benefit of avoiding electrical waste going to landfill or incineration. We’re trialling the approach with O2 in Southwark and if successful, we’ll look to replicate it elsewhere in the UK.”

Councillor Evelyn Akoto, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Public Health and Councillor for Old Kent Road Ward said “At a time when we can’t physically visit our friends and families, many people are relying on their phones and computers as their only point of contact with others. This is especially tough on those who are vulnerable and have to isolate completely, and those who cannot afford, or are unable to get access to, a mobile phone or a computer. Our mental health needs protecting as much as our physical health right now, and this project provides a great way to combat loneliness and keep people connected.”

Krzysztof Mikata-Pralat, CEO at Community Southwark said“During this pandemic we are working with front-line organisations serving to support the most vulnerable and working with Hubbub and O2 to help deliver this project will ensure that many members in the borough will be more digitally included. Being able to connect with family, friends or your community is a vital lifeline during this time and we are proud to be a part of this project”

If you’d like to support the trial and donate your old smartphones to the Community Calling project, visit http://www.hubbub.org.uk/communitycalling/ for more details.

To find out more about O2’s commitments to help the nation stay connected, visit: https://www.o2.co.uk/covid-19

Dr Lucy Asher and her dog Martha

Adolescence is ruff on dogs too

Research led by Newcastle University shows typical teenage behaviour doesn’t just occur in young humans – it happens in dogs too.

Harder to train
The study, headed by Dr Lucy Asher from Newcastle University, is the first to find evidence of adolescent behaviour in dogs.

The researchers found dogs were more likely to ignore commands given by their caregiver and were harder to train at the age of eight months, when they are going through puberty. This behaviour was more pronounced in dogs which had an insecure attachment to their owner.

But Dr Asher, a Senior Lecturer in Precision Animal Science, in the University’s School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, warns adolescence can be a vulnerable time for dogs as many are taken to shelters for rehoming at this age.

“This is a very important time in a dog’s life,” she explains. “This is when dogs are often rehomed because they are no longer a cute little puppy and suddenly, their owners find they are more challenging and they can no longer control them or train them. But as with human teenage children, owners need to be aware that their dog is going through a phase and it will pass.”

Behaviour in adolescence
The team, which included Nottingham and Edinburgh universities, working with the charity Guide Dogs, looked at a group of 69 dogs to investigate behaviour in adolescence. They monitored obedience in the Labradors, Golden Retrievers and cross breeds of the two, at the ages of five months – before adolescence – and eight months- during adolescence.

Dogs took longer to respond to the ‘sit’ command during adolescence, but only when the command was given by their caregiver, not a stranger. The odds of repeatedly not responding to the sit command from the caregiver were higher at eight months compared to five months. However, the response to the ‘sit’ command improved for a stranger between the five and eight month tests.

Further evidence was found when the team looked a larger group of 285 Labradors, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds and cross breeds of them. Owners and a trainer less familiar with each dog filled in a questionnaire looking at ‘trainability’. It asked them to rate statements such as: ‘Refuses to obey commands, which in the past it was proven it has learned’ and ‘Responds immediately to the recall command when off lead’

Caregivers gave lower scores of ‘trainability’ to dogs around adolescence, compared to when they were aged five months or 12 months. However, again trainers reported an increase in a trainability between the ages of five and eight months.

The experts also found that in common with humans, female dogs with insecure attachments to their caregivers (characterised by higher levels of attention seeking and anxiety when separated from them) were more likely to reach puberty early. This data provides the first evidence of cross-species impact of relationship quality on reproductive timing, highlighting another parallel with parent-child relationships.

A passing phase
Dr Naomi Harvey, co-author of the research from the University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science and the charity Dogs Trust, says that whilst the results of this study may not come as a surprise to many dog owners, it has important consequences.

“Many dog owners and professionals have long known or suspected that dog behaviour can become more difficult when they go through puberty” says Dr Harvey. “But until now there has been no empirical record of this. Our results show that the behaviour changes seen in dogs closely parallel that of parent-child relationships, as dog-owner conflict is specific to the dog’s primary caregiver and just as with human teenagers, this is a passing phase.”

“It’s very important that owners don’t punish their dogs for disobedience or start to pull away from them emotionally at this time” added Dr Asher. “This would be likely to make any problem behaviour worse, as it does in human teens”.

Teenage dogs? Evidence for adolescent-phase conflict behaviour and an association between attachment to humans and pubertal timing in the domestic dog is published in Biology Letters.

Borough Market

Borough Market welcomes new funding lifeline for traders

Borough Market today welcomed vital new funding for its traders who had been previously excluded from government financial support.

Following a campaign by the market’s constituency MP Neil Coyle, a loophole which meant the market’s food traders were not entitled to government grants has been closed by Business Secretary Alok Sharma.

In an announcement made at the weekend, an extra £617 million in grants were made available to help small businesses in financial difficulties due to the lockdown. Small businesses who did not pay business rates – a group which included many market traders – had not been able to access the previously-announced £12 billion government small business support fund.

The issue had been highlighted by Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP Neil Coyle after the Market’s management alerted him to how the loophole meant many of the market’s traders faced ruin because of it. The market pays business rates on behalf of its traders, meaning the individual businesses could not claim the grants as they were classified as non-business rate payers.

Darren Henaghan, managing director of Borough Market, said: “Our traders had effectively fallen through the gaps in the floorboard of the government scheme for small businesses and have suffered considerably as a result.”

“Thankfully Neil Coyle was alive to the issue and campaigned to get this loophole closed. We are hugely grateful to him.”

Mr Coyle, who wrote to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to raise the issue, said: “In the current circumstances, the traders deserve all the support they can get. I am delighted that this unfortunate discrepancy has been resolved.”

“Due to the unique make-up of the market, the traders were denied access to the grants available to other small businesses. I am sure this was unintentional. Having already come through the 2017 London Bridge terror attacks to prosper again, it is crucial the traders get support at this crucial time.”

It is anticipated that approximately 120 traders from the market’s community will be entitled to the grants of up to £25,000.

Despite suffering a drop in visitor numbers of about 90 per cent, the market remains open on six days a week. It is maintaining social distancing rules by limiting access to 800 customers at any one time under its “Come, Shop, Leave” guidelines.

Full details here: https://boroughmarket.org.uk/articles/come-shop-leave

Vegetables at a grocery store

COVID-19 is changing Britain’s relationship with food

Research paints picture of a divided nation

  • Just under 3 in 5 people (57%) say they value food more now
  • But almost half (45%) are more worried about food than before

Virtual meals, cooking from scratch, wasting less food and families eating together more are some of the positive shifts in food-related behaviours taking place in households across the country according to new research commissioned by environmental charity Hubbub. But the research also reveals many are struggling to put meals on the table and are worried about food, with increasing numbers turning to food banks for the first time.

90% of the nationally representative sample of 2,000+ UK adults surveyed* say their shopping and/or cooking habits have changed since the Coronavirus lockdown started.

What’s Cooking?

45% of respondents say they are cooking more since the restrictions were introduced to stop the spread of coronavirus. Over half (54%) of those cooking more said it was because they now have the time to cook that they didn’t before and 42% cite the need to cook from scratch more due to the sort of food they can get hold of.

44% of people are enjoying cooking more since the restrictions began although more than a quarter (26%) are finding preparing more meals everyday exhausting.

Young people in particular are keen to learn to cook more, with almost half (47%) of those aged 16-24 are seeing lockdown as an opportunity to improve their cooking skills, compared with a national average of 34%. 16-24s were, however more likely to find this tiring, with 40% saying they find preparing more meals everyday exhausting.

Eating and Meeting

More than half of people (57%) say they value food more now since the corona virus restrictions started, with 43% saying they are also enjoying their food more.

40% of those aged 16-24 have had a virtual meal over video link (Zoom, Skype, Facetime etc.) for the first time and almost half (47%) of people are enjoying spending more time eating with their family or housemates.

The diet implications of lockdown may have a lass positive impact on our health. 36% admitted to comfort-eating more to deal with the anxiety or boredom (40% for 16-24-year-olds) and almost a third (31%) are not eating as much fresh fruit and veg as usual due to avoiding shops as much as possible.

Struggling For Food

Whilst a reconnection with food has been a positive experience for some, for others the pandemic has reduced their food security. 45% of respondents said they were more worried about food than before and 43% are worried about the extra cost of providing food for their household. Almost a fifth (18%) of the population is worried about getting access to free food such as through a food bank or community fridge. 7% of people said they have used a food bank for the first time since the restrictions began, rising to 15% of those aged 16-24 and 14% of those aged 25-34.

Food Savvy

Concerns that a surge in panic buying would lead to an increase in food waste levels appear to be unfounded. Almost half of people (48%) say they are throwing away less food since the restrictions began and only 6% say they are throwing away more.

Of those wasting less, people say they are planning meals more carefully (51%) and are getting better at using leftovers (41%). People are also making better use of their freezer, with 35% using it more and 29% freezing a wider variety of foods. Portion control is also a factor, with 27% now giving more accurate portion sizes and just over 1 in 4 (26%) are leaving less on the plate.

Of those wasting less, one in six (17%) are paying less attention to use by dates, eating more out of date food than usual. One respondent recently found a can of beans from 1989. Others consumed a can of coconut milk six years past its sell-by date, a five-year-old bottle of beer and a six-year-old bag of pasta with, fortunately, no ill effects.

With a reported surge in people growing their own and demand for compost through the roof, 45% of people said they’d like to have more skills in growing food, rising to 58% of those aged 25-34 – the most of any age group.

Shifting Shopping Habits

More than a quarter (26%) said they are buying better quality food as they are not going out or spending money on other things. While more than a third (34%) of people are supporting smaller/local businesses more than ever before, 43% say they are buying fewer takeaways as they are worried about contamination. A further 42% say they are not buying takeaways because money is tight.

29% said they were using their local corner shop/convenience store for the first time.

And there are signs that this will this continue once the restrictions are over. The majority (89%) of those who’ve made changes say they will continue to use at least one of the new shopping alternatives to supermarkets once the restrictions have ended. Many will continue to use local shops (41% will carry on using their local corner shop, 20% the local butcher, 13% the local farm shop and 15% the local greengrocer). And many will continue with home deliveries – 11% will continue with their fruit/veg box, 9% with milk delivery.

Trewin Restorick, CEO and Co-Founder of Hubbub said: “The impact of COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we are eating.  Our polling reveals a divided nation.  Some families are eating together more, young people are learning to cook, people want to know more about growing food and are planning meals better and using up leftovers. More people are shopping locally. But concerningly, just under half are more worried about food than previously and 43% are concerned about the cost of food.”

“In response to the polling, Hubbub is stepping up the support that we are providing, helping people get more value from their food – but more needs to be done.  Today we are calling on supermarkets to step up their efforts to provide support and guidance to households helping them cope with these extraordinary times.”

Hubbub’s  top  ten  tips  to make your food go further  whilst  in isolation:

    1. Plan ahead  –  plan your week’s meals and  only buy  the food you need
    2. Avoid panic buying – we are all still able to shop once a week, so you don’t need to buy enough food for a month
    3. Check expiry dates when you’re shopping
    4. Remember that  food  might  still be eaten after its ‘best before date’ – check it looks and smells OK. Food past its best  can still be enjoyed.
    5. Make room  in your freezer so you have plenty of storage space  and check out Hubbub’s helpful guide to  what food you can freeze – it’s more than you think!  https://www.hubbub.org.uk/12-freezer-friendly-foods
    6. Many of us have  neighbours  who might not be able to get out to shop, so offer to share surplus food with them, whilst  remembering to observe government guidelines on hand washing and social distancing
    7. Make the most of store cupboard staples to bulk up meals – now is the time to make use of those chickpeas,  beans and  rice that have been sitting in your  cupboard for some time.
    8. Batch cook  meals  and freeze  them for future use
    9. Check out some of the online resources for free cooking and growing tips and lessons, such as  social  media channels for  Hubbub,  Mob Kitchen  and  Borough Market
    10. Take the opportunity of more time with your children to teach them valuable cooking skills  to set them up for a healthier and more sustainable future

For more advice and tips to make your food go further, visit https://www.foodsavvy.org.uk

Helen Macdonald from Leeds Cares holds a package of fresh fruit and veg for NHS workers as part of the Feed the Frontline initiative

‘Feed the Frontline’ Gives Fresh Fruit and Vegetables to Staff at Leeds and Harrogate NHS Hospitals

National campaign giving high quality food to those battling COVID-19 reaches Yorkshire

Hardworking staff at NHS hospitals in Leeds and Harrogate will be provided with bags of free fresh fruit and vegetables today, as part of a national campaign to provide high quality produce to frontline workers battling COVID-19.

‘Feed the Frontline’ launched on 3rd April, spearheaded by London’s Borough Market which is making twice weekly deliveries to hospitals in the capital. St Thomas’, Kings College Hospital, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, The Whittington Hospital and Orpington Hospital staff have all benefited from bags of seasonal, high quality, fresh food.

The campaign is now launching in Yorkshire, with twice weekly deliveries of 500 bags containing fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables from Bradford St James Wholesale Market and fresh produce supplier Delifresh being made to Leeds Teaching Hospitals, and the newly set up NHS Nightingale Hospital Yorkshire & the Humber, based in Harrogate. Once at the hospitals, the bags will be distributed to frontline staff by volunteers.

Since launch, over 12,000 bags of fruit and vegetable bags have been delivered to NHS frontline staff. Initially funded by private businesses for deliveries throughout April 2020, Feed the Frontline aims to run throughout the peak of the COVID-19 crisis. Set up by new charity, The Healthworkers’ Support Foundation, the organisation is now calling for members of the public to help feed as many frontline staff as possible by donating via www.feedthefrontline.uk. Fruit and vegetable wholesale markets, companies and charities across the UK are also being urged to fund the expansion across the nation.

Jon Kenny, spokesperson for Feed the Frontline said: “We know we are already making a real difference to the hospitals supported by the campaign. The staff who are working around the clock to save lives and care for those affected by Covid-19 are telling us that receiving bags of fresh, seasonal fruit and veg brightens up their day and means they don’t have to spend precious time queuing at supermarkets. We’re asking the Great British Public and more companies to come on board with Feed the Frontline to help fund the expansion to more hospitals so those who are giving so much to care for others can stay healthy and feed themselves and their families.”

Paul Watkins, Director of Fundraising at Leeds Cares, the charity for Leeds Hospitals, said: “I’m so impressed with the quality of fruit and vegetables that we have received. Leeds Cares is proud to support this initiative of supplying fruit and vegetables to staff with a donation of £10,000. Thank you to everyone who is supporting us so that we can fuel the wonderful staff working around the clock at Leeds Teaching Hospitals. A huge thank you also goes to ‘Feed the Frontline’ for this great initiative”

Noel Kershaw, Managing Director at Delifresh said: “The whole team at Delifresh are delighted to be involved in this amazing project in providing beautiful fresh fruit & vegetables to the heroes working tirelessly for our NHS.”

Sara Danesin, a Masterchef finalist who has recently returned to work for the NHS as a Staff Nurse in a busy acute medical ward, said: “A good, balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is paramount to maintain good health whilst we are under so much pressure and stress. Our shifts are so long that by the time we have finished, shops are closed or have run out of fresh produce.” 

Visit  www.feedthefrontline.uk for more information about the campaign and how to get involved. Spread the word on social media via @FeedUKFrontline #feedthefrontline

Guide Dogs Virtual Tea Party

Celebrities join forces with Guide Dogs for Guinness World Record attempt at world’s biggest virtual tea party

Martin Clunes, Gregg Wallace, Imelda Staunton, Bill Turnbull and many more are inviting the public to come together for a cuppa in lockdown and raise funds for the charity Guide Dogs.

COVID-19 continues to impact all of us, the national pastime of catching up with friends for a nice cup of tea is on hold. So, Guide Dogs is planning the world’s biggest virtual tea party, to bring the country back together online for a cup of tea, a slice of cake – and the company of some wonderful guide dogs.

A host of famous faces are helping spread the word of the event taking place for National Tea Day, on Tuesday 21st April. They’ll be sharing photos of themselves enjoying a cup of tea and some of their favourite cake and biscuit recipes.

Tea party virtual guests can expect to be entertained by videos and photos of all things Guide Dogs, as well as the opportunity to be part of a Guinness World Record attempt as the charity ask supporters to share a selfie enjoying their favourite cuppa between 3pm and 4pm.

Martin Clunes said: “The charity Guide Dogs does such incredible work year-round supporting people with sight loss, and that work is more important than ever now. I know I’m finding lockdown hard enough to deal with, but for people with sight loss, social isolation can be there every day. That’s why I’ll be raising a cup and supporting Guide Dogs. I hope many others will join me to raise lots of money and hopefully achieve a Guinness World Record.”

Anyone interested in joining in the Great Guide Dogs Virtual Tea Party should click ‘going’ or ‘interested’ on the event on the Guide Dogs Facebook page: https://bit.ly/2UXsKf8. Guide Dogs is asking those who take part to donate the price of a cup of tea to help them continue their vital work supporting adults and children with sight loss.

Pam White, Fundraising Manager at Guide Dogs said: “Over the last few years our wonderful supporters have been hosting tea parties around the country on National Tea Day and donating the proceeds to Guide Dogs. Whilst that isn’t possible in person this year, we’re excited to host our first ever virtual tea party, which will give everyone the chance to join our #GuideDogsFamily and make a difference.”

“In these uncertain times we have adapted our services so we can continue to help those with sight loss. We also remain committed to the welfare of our 8,000 dogs, which are being cared for across the UK. Our income is dropping and it costs £13 a day to support each of our life changing dogs – that’s £100,000 every single day. Donating the cost of your cuppa on National Tea will ensure people with sight loss don’t feel alone now, and in the future.”.

For more information please visit www.guidedogs.org.uk/teatime

Guide Dog assisting with shopping in a supermarket

National information line launched to support people with sight loss during COVID-19 pandemic

Social distancing with sight loss, access to food, increased isolation and guide dog health among key concerns

Guide Dogs is launching the COVID-19 Sight Loss Information Line – offering practical support in response to an influx of concerns raised by people with sight loss, their friends and their families.

The information line will be launched by Guide Dogs supporter and actress, Joanna Scanlan, as part of a series of #GuideDogsFamily initiatives set up by the charity to help people with sight loss during the pandemic. Calls to 0800 781 1444 are being taken Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm.

Some of the most common concerns being raised have highlighted how difficult it is to stay safe during the pandemic and practise social distancing without being able to see:

Food shopping – people with sight loss are struggling to shop for groceries as they have not been included in the Government’s list of vulnerable groups which have access to priority online shopping slots and social distancing at supermarkets presents unique challenges

Social isolation – Guide Dogs research found that 58% of blind and partially sighted people feel socially isolated. Government guidance on self-isolation periods and social distancing is of course essential, but it does pose a real risk that people with sight loss become even more lonely.

Care for guide dogs – guide dog owners, puppy raisers and others who help care for the next generation of guide dogs have expressed concerns about keeping their dogs healthy and stimulated during lockdown. These worries are increasing at the prospect of potential further restrictions around exercise and visits to parks.

Clive Wood, guide dog owner, said: “I know first-hand that in the current situation, feelings of isolation only increase, and I have had a couple of times where it’s all been pretty overwhelming.”

“Something I have taken for granted all my life is being able to ask someone if I can take their arm if I need to be guided – not being able to do this makes simple things like going to the supermarket really challenging.”

“It is also extremely difficult to observe social distancing rules when you can’t see how close people are. My guide dog, Winnie, is fantastic and will guide me around people, but not necessarily two metres away. Last week on a walk, someone brushed past me, which made me feel anxious, but for guide dog owners, there is also the issue of ensuring our much-loved companions get enough enrichment and stimulation during lockdown.”

Kirstie Bower, Services Director at Guide Dogs, said: “We’re moving swiftly to adapt our support for people with sight loss in these challenging times. As well as launching the information line, we’re urging people to check on friends, family and neighbours with sight loss by phone or video to offer practical advice and emotional support.”

“We are also campaigning alongside other sight loss organisations for the government to include people with sight loss in the list of vulnerable groups with access to priority slots for online shopping and have also issued advice on keeping dogs stimulated and enriched during periods of isolation.”

For more information visit: www.guidedogs.org.uk/coronavirus

Simnel Cake

Borough Market celebrates Easter with online festival

London’s iconic Borough Market is celebrating Easter this weekend with a series of social media events. Running from 9-13th April, the Market is holding a five-day eggs-travaganza which will see chefs, artists and Borough Market traders join together on Instagram Live and IGTV to give advice and tips on cooking and drawing Easter favourites.

The weekend kicks off with This Morning and ITV regular, Juliet Sear holding an Easter Baking class on Thursday, followed by Borough Market favourites, Bread Ahead, teaching us how to make hot cross buns on Good Friday. The Borough Market Butchers will be offering people advice on ‘what to do with your meat’ in a two part series across the weekend, and the Fishmongers’ will be giving their top tips for Fishy Friday. The festival comes to a close with multi-award winning blogger, Poppy Loves London joining an Instagram live, cooking her favourite crumble.

There will also be plenty to keep children at home occupied, with storytelling and draw-alongs from authors and artists, cook-offs between Borough Market’s chefs and recipes for all the family to enjoy. On Easter Monday, TV Chef Beca Lyne-Pirkis will be running a workshop on eggs for children and adults alike!

Kate Howell, Director of Development and Communication, Borough Market said: “Like the rest of the nation we aren’t able to celebrate Easter weekend in the same style that we usually do at Borough Market. However, we couldn’t let the weekend go unmarked and wanted to bring some of our fantastic experts to people’s homes to offer tips, advice and fun things to do with children. We hope that people at home are able to join with us throughout the Easter festival to celebrate all that is great about food and family, and that we bring a little joy into homes across the UK.”

The timetable for the weekend is as follows:

Thursday 9th April

11am, Instagram – The Borough Market Butchers, ‘What to do with your meat, part 1’

1pm, Instagram Live – Easter Baking with This Morning’s Juliet Sear

Good Friday 10th April

11am, Instagram – Borough Market’s Fishmongers’ Top Tips for Fishy Friday

1pm, Instagram Live – Padre Founder Nick Fitzgerald makes fish tacos

2pm, Instagram Live – Bread Ahead Does Hot Cross Buns

Saturday 11th April

11am, Instagram – The Borough Market Butchers, ‘What to do with your meat, part 2’

12pm, Instagram – Borough Market Saturday Cook-Off , featuring Kiwi & Roo’s Lara Lee and Borough Market’s Angela Clutton & Roopa Gulati

4pm, IGTV – ‘Let’s Get Drawing’ children’s drawing workshop

Easter Sunday 12th April

11am, IGTV – Sunday Storytelling with Writer and Cook, Kate Young

4pm, IGTV: Let’s get drawing

Easter Monday 13th April

1pm, Instagram Live – Glorious Eggs with TV Chef Beca Lyne-Pirkis

2pm, IGTV – Poppy Loves London (and crumble)

4pm, IGTV – Get Planting with Kathy Slack

Borough Market’s Instagram account can be found at www.instagram.com/boroughmarket

Borough Market is open for business, Monday to Saturday with its usual trading hours – selling essential supplies of fresh produce and store cupboard ingredients for those working and living in the local community.

All stalls have been repositioned to allow at least 2 metres between them, and the ground is marked out with 2 metre distancing for the public, along with clear signage on the importance of shoppers remaining apart.

For those that don’t live nearby, Borough Market’s delivery and collection service, Borough Market Online, offers an alternative way for customers to access Market produce. The option of a doorstep drop service allows it to be received without contact with couriers.

For more information on Borough Market visit www.boroughmarket.org.uk

Man packing food bags to Feed the Frontline

Borough Market spearheads Feed the Frontline

National campaign launches giving fresh, high quality food to those battling COVID-19

Borough Market, London’s world-renowned produce market, is today spearheading a national campaign to provide free fruit and vegetables to frontline workers battling COVID-19.

‘Feed the Frontline’, has initially been funded by private businesses for April 2020 and aims to run throughout the peak of the COVID-19 crisis. The initiative launches with the provision of regular deliveries of fruit and vegetables to frontline workers at four NHS hospitals in London.

Borough Market is now calling for more companies to fund the expansion across the nation with the help of the UK’s network of food markets and fruit and vegetable wholesale markets. The aim is to feed as many frontline staff as possible throughout the pandemic. Feed the Frontline will be delivering 2,000 fruit and vegetable bags to Leeds General Infirmary and St James’ Hospital.

Borough Market has initially partnered with four London hospitals – St Thomas’, Kings College Hospital, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and The Whittington Hospital. 6,000 bags of seasonal, high quality fruit and vegetables are being packed and delivered by Borough Market trader Turnips each week. Once at the hospitals, the bags will be distributed to frontline staff by NHS volunteers. The food is accompanied by recipe cards from Borough Market chefs to inspire easy, healthy home cooking of fantastic food.

Darren Henaghan, managing director, Borough Market said: “With the UK in lockdown, we owe an enormous debt to the fantastic people of the NHS and other frontline workers battling COVID-19. They are working around the clock to save lives, care for the sick and control the spread of coronavirus. With London at the heart of the UK epidemic we want to play our part in the national effort against COVID-19 by caring for the carers – giving them fresh, high quality food to help them stay healthy and feed themselves and their families.”

“We’re asking more companies to come on board with Feed the Frontline to fund the expansion to more hospitals. Borough Market’s position as a charitable trust and a home to high quality wholesale traders means that food can be sourced cost-effectively and at sufficient volumes to make a real difference to the hospitals supported by the campaign. This will mean that the people working tirelessly to look after the nation don’t have to spend time queuing at supermarkets and can spend precious time away from work with their families and housemates.”

Sara Danesin, a Masterchef finalist who has recently returned to work for the NHS as a Staff Nurse in a busy acute medical ward at the Royal Free in Hampstead,  said: “A good, balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is paramount to maintain good health whilst we are under so much pressure and stress. Our shifts are so long that by the time we have finished, shops are closed or have run out of fresh produce.” 

Visit  feedthefrontline.uk for more information about the campaign and how to get involved. Spread the word on social media via #feedthefrontline