Category - Events

Warwick Climate Forum #WCF15

WarwickClimateForum2015The content of last Saturday’s Warwick Climate Forum was both life-affirming and deeply worrying. Students had brought together an impressive array of speakers from various disciplines — physics, marine ecology, soil sciences, economics, law. A consistent theme throughout was the importance of  evidence to underpin decisions. And that we haven’t time; we need transformational change in this generation.

“Humans have never lived in such a CO2 atmosphere.” 

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How can big organisations play their part in local food supply?

Margaret Harris of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital attended this evening and told us of an initiative her colleague Antony Cobley has been putting into place at the hospital. Fresh food stalls and fruit trees planted in the hospital grounds – here she tells us more…



Questions and comments from the floor


Some comments paraphrased from the floor in response to the previous presentations

“I applied to open a eco friendly vegetarian coffee shop in birmingham and we lost to property and now we’re going to get another kebab shop. What would help the most is knowing who to go to who to talk to in the council to make eco and green projects happen. “

“Planning is a difficult area – but we have managed to turn down applications for fast food shops in Birmingham – and we’re going to have the healthy choices scheme to help shops who want to offer healthier choices.”

“Part of the scandal is price differential  in areas – Tesco price more at shops that people walk to than the ones we drive to yet the gain PR by giving to food banks!”

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Liz Dowler: Professor of Food and Social Policy at the University of Warwick


Elizabeth Dowler, Professor of Food and Social Policy at the University of Warwick, and a member of the food ethics council,  was recently involved in headline-creating research into food aid and food poverty for Defra.

Liz is here to respond to the first two talks…

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Adrian Phillips: Director of Birmingham Public Health Profit and health



Adrian Phillips  Birmingham’s Director of Public Health. The main food-related public health issues that occur to me, are food access and obesity:

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Chris Mould: Executive Chair, Trussell Trust – Food Banks on the increase


Chris Mould heads The Trussell Trust, whose food banks fed 913,138 people across the UK last year , 330,205 of which were children . The Trust were recently inundated with donations in response to a rather nasty Mail on Sunday article.  Benefit payment cuts and delays were a major cause of the 51% increase in food bank visits over the last year – causing over 500 UK clergy to write in protest to the Government.

This cause of food poverty is, quite simply, a general one of financial hardship, with food or heating being the choice people were often forced to make over winter.

Food Banks offer more than just food, they offer a listening ear, time and signposted to other services – but food costs have risen dramatically in last few years – faster than all other commodities so is it ant wonder that use of Food Banks have risen.

People are spending more on food but actually leaving the shops with less. – People often don’t need much help, about 65% of people need one off support in a 6month period.

Charlotte is a foodbank user who was in foster care – when she moved but of care she struggled, going hungry with no support from other services. Without a Food Bank she doesn’t know what she would have done. 

How can we expect people to afford living costs when 1 in 5 are not paid living wage?


Food and our Future in the West Midlands

This evening we are at the Nishkam Centre attending the Lunar Societies event looking at food Poverty in the West Midlands.

Event Speakers include

Chris Mould: Executive Chair, Trussell Trust
Adrian Phillips: Director of Birmingham Public Health
also: Liz Dowler: Professor of Food and Social Policy at the University of Warwick

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The Narrativium Project @IdeasTap @mac_birmingham

NarrativiumImageWe’re recruiting three bright young creative people to work on the Narrativium Project, the concluding part of our two-year Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Project.

To that end, we’ve just posted our recruitment ad on IdeasTap. The deadline is 19th May.

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#BrumElliott – Reflections on the day from Chris Elliott

Elliott Review

Final thoughts from The Elliott Review in Birmingham from Professor Chris Elliott and Kate Cooper, founder of The New Optimists…

Professor Chris Elliott said the mixture of people at the event in Birmingham today was quite phenomenal. There have been 200 meetings as part of the review – this has been the most interesting, he said, with lots of examples of the complex difficulties faced in addressing the issues concerned with food crime.

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#BrumElliott – Today’s event in pictures




Table notes - on the table clothes

Session 3 post its

Elliot Review Birmingham

Elliot Review Birmingham

Elliot Review Birmingham

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