Mel Stride

    CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride has praised supermarket Waitrose for their Community Matters programme of donating £1,000 a month from each its branches to worthy local causes. The Okehampton store has now donated £100,000 since 2008 with its January beneficiaries being the Fatherford Road Allotment Association, Halwill Forget-Me-Not Friends Club - a memory cafe supporting people living with dementia - and Homestart South and West Devon, who help families when they fall on hard times.

    Today (10/02/17), Mr Stride met with local branch manager Mike Bestwick, Waitrose Community Matters Partner Vickie Mills and Shanti Smallwood from ‘Growing Our Future’, one of the beneficiaries of its December donation. Since 2008 Growing Our Future has developed and delivered an environment in which to educate, create and celebrate the production of local food. The organisation focuses on linking education with the activities of growing food, harvesting, preparing, cooking and composting. The project has a 25-year lease on its site from Okehampton College and is a not-for-profit company.

    Mrs Smallwood said:

    “At the heart of our project is the importance of developing healthy and sustainable communities long into the future. We provide an environment where students and teachers can come out of the classroom to learn and we have also run outreach projects to primary schools in the catchment area. The food we produce is enjoyed by both the students and the staff.”

    Mr Stride added:

    “Growing Our Future has both environmental and educational benefits and is exactly the kind of important organisation that Waitrose’s Community Matters programme has generously supported over the years. It is great to see a supermarket really giving back.”

    Photo: Central Devon MP Mel Stride learning more about ‘Growing Our Future’ from Shanti Smallwood. The project was one of the recipients of funding from Waitrose’s Community Matters programme this month.