Raddon started a part-time masters in Sustainable Food and Natural Resources in September 2020 which was a new direction for him, having previously trained as a musician. In the first few months of that course, Raddon started coming to terms with the immense challenges faced in fixing the global food system and decided to volunteer locally in Manchester.

Food Wave

Food Wave offered Raddon a way to learn more about what was already happening in Manchester, to engage more people with sustainable food system change, and to meet some of the people who were driving that change.

Raddon explained,

‘My favourite part of the programme was coming up with ideas for direct actions to engage people with issues around sustainability in the food system and what to do about them. Whilst I haven’t yet put my action into practice, the variety of ideas everyone came up with when given the chance to be creative on an issue they were passionate about was really exciting.’

Learning through Food Wave

Raddon’s involvement with Food Wave made him realise that the value of urban food production is as much in its capacity to engage people with natural processes connected to the food, climate, biodiversity and their own health as in its ability to produce food.

The involvement of the Groundwork team from Manchester was a really valuable aspect of the course for Raddon. An important message he took away from these sessions was the importance of genuine consultation with communities to make long-lasting sustainable changes at a local scale.

Where is he now?

Since doing Food Wave Raddon has become a volunteer co-ordinator at Fallowfield Secret Garden, a community garden in South Manchester. He has even teamed up with some fellow Food Wave participants who also volunteer at the garden and they hope to collaborate on something that will involve trying to bring more people onto the site. He has also helped out with Groundwork’s carbon supermarket and played music at a Met Munch stall.

When asked what people could do to positively change their relationship with food, Raddon responded,

‘I would say take a little bit of time to find out what options for community food growing are available near you and try going along to a volunteering session if you can. Whilst it won’t provide you with all the veg you need for the week, having a go at growing something (anything!) in an environment where you connect with others over food is an invaluable experience. You’ll learn first-hand what it takes to put sustainably grown food on the table, as well as contributing to something that benefits other people in your community, which is really rewarding.’