Woodside Arran receives support of fairer food initiative

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Woodside Arran, a social enterprise helping to build a food network on the island, has received a funding boost from North Ayrshire Council’s Fairer Food participatory budgeting event.

Woodside Farm, in Kildonan, was one of 19 projects selected to receive a share of £19,161 to improve access to food in the community.

The recipients of the fund were announced recently after being chosen by the public at the Fairer Food decision day at Eglinton Park, Kilwinning.

Around 400 residents went along to the event to hear more about the shortlisted initiatives before voting for their favourites, with 338 votes cast on the day.

The participatory budgeting process, which kicked off earlier this year, invited individuals and groups to bid for up to £1,250 to help fund initiatives that improve access to food in their communities.

Woodside Arran was one of five initiatives receiving the full grant of £1,250.

As well as voting, those attending the event enjoyed cooking demonstrations by Centrestage, a food growing workshop with Eglinton Growers, a Bling it Bike arts and crafts session with the Active Travel team, guided walks with the Countryside Rangers, multi-sports activities from KA Leisure, a silent disco and more.

Councillor Louise McPhater, cabinet member for communities, said: ‘Sadly, food poverty is something which affects many families and individuals across the UK, impacting negatively on their health and well-being  physically and mentally.

‘In the right environment, food can become a powerful tool in bringing people together and helping to reduce social isolation in our communities.

‘We have many fantastic community groups and projects in North Ayrshire running some amazing food-based initiatives and we are thrilled to contribute financially to some of these through our participatory budgeting exercise.’

Woodside Arran is run by four directors and was founded by husband and wife team Andy and Jenny Macdonald. Their aim is to establish a diverse food network for the island that encompasses organic growing techniques, permaculture design principles and regenerative agricultural practices. They grow fruit and vegetables in their market garden, rear rare-breed pork and produce free-range eggs. In addition to their own produce they source organic produce and deliver it straight to your door or through their mobile shop – The Real Food Shop- which visits villages around the island.

Andy and Jenny Macdonald of Woodside Arran. No_B26woodside01