Our names are Amy, Sammaya and Fatima and we are three enthusiastic, driven young women that have come up with an innovation project to help our hometown, High Wycombe tackle the problem of child food poverty.
Our journey began in the Bridge to Employment (BTE) International Programme, provided by Johnson & Johnson. The Highcrest Academy was one of the only schools that offered this Programme to students in Year 12 and 13 throughout the UK. The Programme co-ordinators advised and helped students with career guidance, and shared valuable skills in a work environment . Further down the line of our BTE journey, we were picked to be part of ABTS (the Alliance Building and Training Session). This is a worldwide programme, coordinated by Johnson and Johnson, bringing members of BTE from across the globe together to learn about different cultures and life skills.
To celebrate BTE’s 30th anniversary, an innovation challenge was set by ABTS to design a project that would impact our community. Student ambassadors from all around the world competed in this challenge with a wide variety of innovative and creative presentations pitched to the Award Panel. The prize was 3000 US dollars to bring the successful project to life.
We pitched a concept to help alleviate child food poverty in High Wycombe both on a short term and long term basis. Our research showed that 1 in every 7 households went hungry during the lockdown in 2020/2021. Research conducted by Buckinghamshire University revealed that shockingly almost 30% of people across Wycombe struggled to access food on a day to day basis.
Our concept was to initially design and deliver allotments to encourage sustainable and long term supply of vegetables that would be used in local primary schools.
We were very privileged to have our project selected by the Panel. We have been working with Wycombe Food Hub to see how we can provide greater support. Work has been taking place at a steady pace in a number of workstreams to help kickstart the establishment of the allotments. We will be providing regular blogs to keep you updated with our progress and letting you know how you can help.