Our Empowerment Programme Officer Ben Pearson has been involving young people as experts in tackling food poverty.
Our new Food Power programme is supporting Food Poverty Alliances around the UK. In recent months, we have done some exciting work with the Blackburn with Darwen Food Poverty Alliance. Working with members of the alliance including Blackburn Youth Zone, Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio and Nightsafe, we recruited young people with experiences of food poverty as ‘experts by experience’, amplifying their voices to shape the alliance and local work to tackle food poverty.
The young people will work on two projects. First we will deliver ‘empowerment exchanges’ where young people facilitate workshops with their peers to gather their views on food poverty within the borough. Young people are discussing the themes for the workshops,and planning the first exchange to take place in Blackburn in April.
“I’m glad I managed to get my point across and am looking forward to the activities ahead”
Corey, young expert by experience
The second project will see young people from Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio producing a ‘zine’ which will capture personal stories, and creatively empower young people to talk about the issues that matter to them. It will also showcase projects tackling food poverty, with interviews conducted by young people, alongside recipes and other food-related content.
“A very progressive group, keen to engage”
Mike Rawsterne, Public Health Blackburn with Darwen
Both projects will allow children and young people from a range of backgrounds to get involved, addressing the serious issue of food poverty through fun and interactive activities. Their findings will feed directly into Blackburn with Darwen Food Poverty Alliance, ensuring their Food Poverty Action Plan incorporates the expertise of people with lived experience of food poverty and insecurity. The work will also feed directly into Blackburn with Darwen’s Public Health Eat Well strategy.
It is great to have young people involved who are eager to design activity which allows themselves and their peers to share experiences. I am excited to see the empowerment exchanges in action, along with the ‘zine’, and I look forward to sharing learning with Food Poverty Alliances around the country.