School children from Braes High in Polmont who have worked with the Forth Environment Link on their Young Good Food Ambassadors project. The project included funding for a poly tunnel which has enabled kids to grow a substantial amount of fresh produce. L-r are Inarra Thomson, Melissa Whiteside and Jayden Stewart.

CELEBRATING FALKIRK’S FIRST GOOD FOOD AMBASSADORS

Students at two local secondary schools are celebrating becoming the region’s first Good Food Ambassadors.

Pupils at Falkirk and Braes High Schools have been working with climate charity Forth Environment Link over the past 3 months as part of Falkirk Food Futures – a project aimed at building a fairer, resilient and sustainable food future for the area.

The project included funding for a poly tunnel which has enabled kids to grow a substantial amount of fresh produce.
Inarra Thomson prunes the tomato plants.

During the 12-week programme the teens were given the chance to grow and cook their own food, as well as visit a local farm to find out where their food comes from.

The young ambassadors have already begun sharing what they’ve learned with the wider community by taking part in local community food projects.

Forth Environment Link’s Food Project Officer Vicki Ferguson said: “It’s been great to see the students embrace their new roles and share the food knowledge they’ve gained with others.

“Our Falkirk High Good Food Ambassadors have used their newfound skills to create meal kits, which will be donated through the Tamfourhill Community Centre’s Food Pantry.

“While our Braes ambassadors are looking to get the local community involved in growing vegetables in their school polytunnel which will be distributed locally for free.

“Many of the young people had never grown anything before and the project has increased their confidence and knowledge about food.”

During the programme, the ambassadors also gained non food skills, as Vicki explained: “Both schools created films about food. Falkirk High worked on one around Good Food for All and Braes created one on the theme, Healthy People, Healthy Planet. We’re looking forward to premiering these on social media this summer.”

Deputy Head of Braes High School Kevin Smith said: “Vicki has built up strong positive relationships with our young people, who look forward to her sessions every week. Over the 12 weeks, all the pupils reported an increase in their confidence, skills and knowledge. This measure clearly shows the significant impact the project has had on our young people.

“We appreciate all the hard work, time and effort it has taken to make this programme so successful at Braes and will continue to develop what we have started after the summer break.”

Pictured is Melissa Whiteside at the poly tunnel after having pulled out some fresh beetroot.

Falkirk’s new Good Food Ambassadors said:

Teacher Ruth Kelly added: “The Good Food Ambassadors programme has been amazing for our young people. Vicki’s enthusiasm and creativity had the pupils engaged from the get-go.

“The knowledge she passed onto our young people and myself has been so valuable, and I cannot thank her enough. Not only has this programme raised the aspirations of our young people, but I have seen their confidence flourish over the 12 weeks.”

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