Hello CAG network! I have recently taken over from Marta Lomza as the Project Officer for Replenish. This project aims to reduce the vast amount of food that ends up in the Oxfordshire bins – almost 20% of the food we buy – by encouraging residents to cut down their food waste and start composting.
I was first introduced to the CAG network through OxGrow Community Garden, where I help run our Sunday gardening sessions. I am really excited to be joining the CAG team to focus on another vital aspect of the food system.
Marta has done an incredible job of kick-starting the project, and we now have 24 volunteer Waste Advisors working closely with their local communities across Oxfordshire. This has included running food surplus demonstrations and working with local shops to help reduce their food waste.
Our volunteers have lots of exciting plans for the coming months. I will be supporting them to set up their own projects, from school composting schemes to community fridges.
We also have a series of great training sessions lined up. Just last weekend, we hosted Hannah Fenton from Good Food Oxford, who taught us key skills on how to engage with the public when running an information stall. She recommends using the Ask, Assess and Advise technique:
- ASK if they want to talk to you about the topic. If it’s a no, receive it well.
- ASSESS what their current situation is – ask open questions about where they are at the moment – get them to tell their story.
- ADVISE only once you know what their current situation is – offer them facts, figures and solutions that are based on what’s important to them and what they think it’s possible for them to change.
The most important thing is to have a positive conversation. Even if they don’t want to engage at this stage, leave the door open for the next time.
That’s all for now! If you would like to find out more about the Replenish Project, or would be interested in joining our team of Waste Advisors, drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website.