Monday, 4 July 2011

The Big Feastival and a lovely weekend

I have had a lovely busy weekend, filled with enjoyable things rather than the usual catch up on laundry, cleaning and kids stuff and I realised that the world does not actually fall apart if I'm not here doing everything!

My weekend started on Friday Afternoon with The Big Feastival!

The Big Feastival is hosted and organised my the wonderful Mr Jamie Oliver and according to its website The Big Feastival is the first of its kind: a summer festival combining top-class food with the world’s best live music and the best and most amazing thing is 'all' yes I did say all the profits go to charity!

The charities supported by this event are The Prince’s Trust is a charity for 14 to 30-year-olds who have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed or have been in trouble with the law. Through practical and financial support, The Trust helps young people develop the skills they need for successful employment, education and training.
The Prince’s Trust ‘Get into’ programme is a series of short vocational courses in sectors such as cooking and hospitality. Last year, 1,837 disadvantaged young people took part in a ‘Get into’ programme and 74% of those who completed the course achieved positive outcomes including employment, further education or training and voluntary work.
The Prince’s Trust other key activity is ‘Get Started’, a programme of arts and music designed to engage young people who are significantly alienated from education, training and employment and lack the confidence, motivation or skills to move forward. ‘Get Started with Music’ gives young people unique opportunities such as working with professional musicians and developing their skills in vocals, instruments or music technology. Last year, 76% of the 1,238 people who took part in a ‘Get Started’ programme achieved positive outcomes.
The Jamie Oliver Foundation who's mission is to empower, educate and engage as many people as possible to love and enjoy good food. This means learning how to cook, understanding where food comes from, and recognizing the power it can have on our health, happiness, and even finances. We do this through teaching, training and employment, and also by making good clear information available to as many people as possible. The Jamie Oliver Foundation is a registered charity .
The Foundation is governed by a board of trustees who have been recruited on the basis of their shared passion – that food can make an empowering and lasting difference to the lives of every person. To date, the Foundation has worked with a range of ages, from kids as young as four to the elderly.
Jamie is the driving force behind the Jamie Oliver Foundation. Under the UK Foundation, there are three charity activities:
  • Fifteen’s Apprentice Programme
  • Jamie’s School Projects
  • Jamie’s Ministry of Food

Fifteen’s Apprentice Programme

In 2002 Jamie founded ‘Fifteen’, a restaurant group that uses the magic of food to give unemployed young people a chance for a better future. The group is made up of three restaurants: the flagship Fifteen London (established in 2002), Fifteen Amsterdam (in 2004) and Fifteen Cornwall (in 2006).
At the heart of the business is a desire to encourage young people to believe in themselves, to show each one of them their past can be left behind and persuade them that they can create their own future. Every year, each restaurant takes on unemployed and under-qualified young people in the local area and trains them to become qualified chefs through a unique Apprentice Programme.
To date, more than 220 apprentices have graduated, many of whom have carved out successful careers in the restaurant industry all over the world. In fact, a 2002 graduate, Tim Siadatan, was named as one of the ‘Top 10 Young Chefs in Europe’ by The Wall Street Journal, following the opening of his restaurant, Trullo.

Jamie’s School Projects

In 2005, Jamie’s Channel 4 television series ‘Jamie’s School Dinners’ highlighted the poor quality of meals provided by the majority of UK schools. Jamie’s ‘Feed Me Better’ campaign, which ran alongside the series, led to major investment by the government as well as policy changes to improve school food. 

After Jamie took a petition with more than 271,000 signatures to 10 Downing Street, asking for major changes to what children were fed in school, £280 million of investment was promised and the School Food Trust was set up to help improve the quality of school food.
Jamie continues his campaigning role in relation to the school food agenda: watch this space as work continues behind the scenes on the School Kitchen Garden project.

Jamie’s Ministry of Food

In 2008, Jamie launched his Ministry of Food campaign with the aim of getting people cooking again. He wanted to encourage people to share their cooking skills and teach their friends what they had learnt. The campaign was inspired by a nutritional programme during the Second World War in which cookery teachers offered the population help and advice, to make sure people knew how to feed themselves properly.
When Jamie set out to make the Ministry of Food TV series, he wanted to prove that anyone could learn to cook – and that it was fun, cool, could save them money and help their family and friends to live healthier lives.
To date, there are three Ministry of Food centres in the UK, and one mobile outreach programme. A further two centres are due to open in late 2011. In late 2010, a Ministry of Food subsidiary was launched in Ipswich, Australia, in partnership with ‘The Good Guys’. The centres are places where local people can learn the basics of cooking and get friendly advice on recipes, ingredients, menu-planning and nutrition, and how to make good, simple meals on a tight budget.

From the minute we got there to the minute we left we had nothing but an enjoyable time, this was the first Festival or Feastival that I've been to that I truly felt was as family friendly as it said it was and with children under 12 able to attend for free and 12 to 17 year olds only charged £25 a ticket and that included 3 dishes of food! for the adults there was the choice of standard entry with all dishes at £5 each or VIP which included 5 dishes an exclusive VIP area plus unlimited wine, beer, soft drinks and BBQ all day!

The atmosphere was lovely , the Common was kept clean even the toilets were kept stocked with toilet tissue and cleaned something rare for most festivals!

As well as the pop-up restaurants and food stalls there were cooking demonstrations , wine tasting, Romany Caravan complete with tarot and palm reading, The little dudes den for children which had it all art, crafts, entertainment, face painting even a quiet reading area!

And there was my daughters favourite The Fairground! Beautifully traditional rides safe for children of all ages and all FREE! My little ones favourite was the Ferris Wheel she's very adventurous for a 2 year old!

The ranges of food, the smells, the tastes all amazing we tried Malaysian food with delicious chicken satay and roti, beautiful fresh seafood, gourmet burgers, amazing gellato and of course BBQ ! 

Then on to the entertainment! before the headline act 'Soul II Soul' Jamie Oliver came on stage to thank everyone for coming, explain a bit more about the charities and where the proceeds would go and then introduce the Brilliant Soul II Soul! I did try to upload a video but technology hates me! though I will try again later!

We danced, we enjoyed the music and the atmosphere , we enjoyed more food and all in all had the most fabulous day and hopefully this wasn't just a one off and it will be on again next year as I can really see this going from strength to strength there was definitely room for growth and I can see this becoming one of the big Festivals or should I say Feastivals!

 *all information about the charities supported was taken from The Big Feastival Website

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