The Farm Africa blog: Spring into action in 2015!

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 16th December 2014
How fundraising for Farm Africa can help you set some New Year resolutions, get fitter and change lives in Africa forever. If you’ve read our previous blogs you’ll know that Farm Africa works to end hunger in eastern Africa – and that we’re doing this not through food hand-outs, but instead by helping farmers to grow more food by providing them with skills, know-how and technology.Season's Greetings When I sat down to write the final Farm Africa blog of 2014 I thought I’d make it a special, tinsel-clad Christmas cracker celebration of all the ways the hospitality sector has supported Farm Africa this year. But then it struck me that for exhausted chefs and restaurant staff, the Christmas season can be the busiest and most stressful time of year. And while the money may be pouring through the tills, perhaps the last thing harassed restaurant staff need is yet another story about the joys of Christmas. So I thought instead we’d look forward to Spring – not only a time for recovery from Christmas, but also for making new beginnings. New year, new plans Spring has always been an important time at Farm Africa. And next year will be no exception as we draw up ambitious new plans designed to maximise the number of farmers we are able to support with training and know-how so they can produce bigger and healthier harvests, helping them to provide for their families. And as we help farmers to plant better seeds for a bigger crop and better future, we think we’ve come up with some great ideas about ways in which you can make a new start in 2015 too. Chef's Football Tournament Birmingham 2014You could join the growing numbers of chefs who last year delivered on their New Year resolutions by getting fit to take part in sponsored runs, climb mountains, participate in cycle challenges or by playing in Farm Africa’s Chefs Football Tournament Series. And as well as shedding some of those unwanted pounds put on over Christmas, the fundraising chefs and restaurant staff have also been playing a huge part in fundraising for Farm Africa - and helping to change lives in eastern Africa – for good. Why now? There’s never been a better time to get involved too. Our Food for Good campaign that is supported by the hospitality sector has already made a spectacular start, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds. We’re thrilled with the start we’ve made. So thrilled, in fact, that we’re now embarking on a major expansion of the campaign. And we need you to get involved if we are to be successful. How you can get involvedRS5549_Ainsley Harriott-lpr One of the ways you can get involved and make a real difference is by signing up your restaurant for our Dine for Good initiative. The scheme encourages restaurants to add a discretionary £1 to the bill of their diners as a donation to Farm Africa. You’ll be in good company: Ashley Palmer-Watts at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, along with Paolo de Tarso at Bar Boulud and Josh Eggleton at the Pony and Trap are already signed up! The scheme is running over March and April next year and we will be working hard to publicise all participating restaurants via social media, in trade and consumer media, as well as in the local media for restaurants taking part. So please get involved, show your support for ending hunger and get some free advertising and PR into the bargain too! Get into shape and help end hunger RS4387_cHEFSAnd if you’re looking for a challenge of your own, you can always sign up for one of our fundraising events. We still have places for you to sign up for in the Brighton Half Marathon on 22 February. And our ever popular football tournaments for chefs and restaurants will take place next year in London (March) and Birmingham (July). For those of you in Scotland there’s the Edinburgh Marathon in May. And if you’re looking for the challenge of a lifetime, you could follow in the footsteps of chefs Ashley Palmer-Watts, Paul Foster and Jon Freeman by joining a team to climb Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, in June. In September we have places in the Great North Run that takes place in Newcastle. And if you prefer to fundraise at a more sedate pace, you could always take part in The Thames Path Challenge – a 50km walk through the beautiful landscapes of the Thames Valley. You should also keep an eye out for a special event in June when Ashley Palmer-Watts will be leading a team of chefs on a major cycle challenge through France. We’ll have more details in our next blog in March. Will it really make a difference? 	Season's Greetings If you’re in any doubt as to whether getting sponsored to run a half marathon or to enter a football tournament can really make a difference, here’s a fact that may interest you. With the money raised by Food for Good so far, Farm Africa has helped 14,000 farmers to farm their way out of hunger and deliver a brighter future for themselves and their families. But that’s just a start. With the continuing support of the  e now aim to reach a further 56,000 farmers over the coming few years. Getting started So why not join the ever growing number of chefs and restaurant staff who are meeting their own personal goals while helping us to change the lives of families in eastern Africa – forever? All you need to do is get in touch with our Events fundraising team here. They will be delighted to hear from you and will be able to give you some great practical advice on getting started and everything you’ll need to succeed. E: foodforgood@farmafrica.org T: 020 7430 0440

A very happy and prosperous new year to you all.

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 16th December 2014

The Farm Africa blog: Spring into action in 2015!