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Award Winning Bristol!

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A couple of weeks ago FoodCycle Bristol won the Green Community Group award at Bristol’s Green Capital Awards. In this post, the wonderful Hub Leaders Alice Tirbooman and Jane Kilpatrick explain what happened on the night, and why they won the award!

At FoodCycle Bristol we hold our meals in Barton Hill Settlement, where each week we welcome members of the local community into the centre’s main hall and dining area to enjoy a delicious three course meal made entirely from reclaimed surplus food.

As an organisation dedicated to reducing food waste through strengthening community ties we were delighted that Bristol was awarded the prestigious title of European Green Capital 2015 – the first UK city to have done so! The award is a recognition not only of Bristol’s future plans to be a more sustainable city, but also of the drive the people of Bristol have to create solutions to the environmental challenges we face.

To mark Bristol’s year as Green Capital, the Bristol Post Green Capital award ceremony was held to recognise and celebrate the achievements of organisations, companies and individuals who have made a particular effort to create a more liveable and sustainable city.

At FoodCycle Bristol we were chuffed to find out that we had been nominated in the Green Community Group category and we were honoured to be announced as finalists alongside The Bristol Pound and the Golden Hill Community Garden.

The Bristol Pound is the UKs first city wide local currency, strengthening communities and supporting local independent traders by keeping an ethical currency circulating within the city. And the Golden Hill Community Garden promotes healthy food and activity at an inclusive site in Horfield, where anyone is welcome to come along and grow food, learn and share the harvest.

Both of these projects are of exceptional value and do hugely important and diverse work; we couldn’t help but feel that all the nominees in our category were equally deserving and whoever won we would all be able to appreciate the incredible work done by the others!

The awards ceremony was held at the Bristol Marriott hotel, with Jane Kilpatrick and myself representing FoodCycle Bristol at the rather fancy drinks reception and dinner! We were slightly perturbed to find that the black-tie part of the invitation had been taken quite seriously by everyone, but we soon relaxed as we found that underneath the dresses and the suits were people just as passionate about building a sustainable city as we are.

After swiping as many free drinks as possible and sitting down to enjoy a locally sourced three course dinner – and I must admit, that as fun as it is to cook the FoodCycle meals every week it was a bit of a treat to be on the receiving end and have someone else preparing the food – it was time for the ceremony to begin. After some informative and interesting speeches by the Mayor and the award sponsors Velopost, the ceremony started.

Despite reminding ourselves that the due to the strength of the other nominees the floor was completely open (and that awards don’t matter anyway) we were surprised to find ourselves increasingly nervous as they approached the announcement of the Green Community Group category. After hearing the summaries of the fantastic work all three projects do we were amazed to hear FoodCycle Bristol being announced as the winner! We ran up to accept the award in a daze – pulling on our FoodCycle t-shirts as a gentle reminder that we weren’t representing ourselves we were there on behalf of all the volunteers who put their time and effort into making FoodCycle Bristol such an effective, fun and hugely rewarding project.

The evening was a fascinating experience and despite the fact that one evening could never hope to recognise the achievements of all the people that make Bristol the perfect choice for European Green Capital 2015, it was heartening and inspiring to see organisations, companies and individuals recognised for their green achievements.

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