Food Revolution Day Newry: Aiming Big for 2013

Food Revolution Day Newry: Aiming Big For 2013

Thu 09 May 2013

Story by Odhran McCorry

I have been asked to share a few tips on how I came about organising the events in my area for the Food Revolution. No matter what activity you do for the day, it will be a success as long as people learn to eat better and make a meal from scratch rather than out of a box!

Maybe it’s just the way I’m built, but from the get-go I had big plan for the Food Revolution. We are turning it into Food Revolution week with events the full seven days leading up to the worldwide event day on May 17th.

We have had some big ideas that turned out to be too ambitious like setting up a farmers market for the Newry area. Larger tasks like that have been shelved until next year, but below are some tips for the smaller events which have fallen into place for us since starting the project.

Tip #1: Get Some Good Volunteers

I got lucky with this! I had an excellent nutritionist, Lisa, contact me and offer to help out and from there we added Matthew who is a friend and client of mine with an event management background. Before long, we rounded out the team with Tom, a healthy eating enthusiast (who is opening what I think is Northern Ireland’s first 100% healthy food cafe), and Miriam who runs a health food store and also is an excellent nutritionist.

Tip #2: Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate!

I trust my team 100%. I set tasks rather than hog the spotlight myself. Lisa was able to secure some sponsorship from Sainsbury’s for promotional material costs and the entire team is helping with event organising and talks. Without their help this wouldn’t have happened.

Tip #3: Be Socially Active

One of our events came from a local business called Sticky Fingers who work with kids (and also have great catering facilities), contacting us via our Facebook page. They are taking a healthy eating class they offer for kids and have organized a lunchbox activity session for kids to learn how to pack their own healthy lunchbox

Tip #4: Reach Out to Your Community

We now have backing from Newry & Mourne District Council, Sainsbury’s, Grounded Espresso Bars (which is the best coffee shop in town), Sticky Fingers, The Fun House (kids’ adventure land and great venue for talks). Local businesses, Personal Best PT, The WellFit Cafe, Choice by Lisa, Ambition 21 Events and Harvest Health Store are all working to support our events.
Council backing is a great help as they have links with press, community centres, organisations and influential people. Our local council has arranged at least 2 radio spots for me, a full press launch with the local Mayor and they are making lots of introductions for me to all the right people. We are looking at getting big vegetable vendors working with the local college and having the city chase them for a different twist on a press release to generate excitement. Hoping that happens as that would be amazing!

Food Revolution Newry Events:

- Teddy Bears Picnic: Kids bringing their bears along and having some good healthy lunch followed by entertainment from members of the Fun House team.
- Cook It, Pack It, Eat It: Lunchbox session with different ages groups at Sticky Fingers.
- Healthy Eating Talks: Businesses, schools, community centres and gyms around the area on the day of the event and in weeks leading up to it.
- Community Flyers: Sainsbury’s sponsored half our costs for flyers that we are handing these out in the local shopping centres in weeks leading up to the event.
- Cooking demonstrations: This is still unconfirmed, but we may secure a mobile cookery station and a lecturer from local college to do an event in local shopping centres the weekend before and day after the worldwide event due to Saturday being a busier day.

Working Towards Food Revolution Day 2014

Like I said, this is an ambitious event especially considering I had no idea what to do when I signed up! I am treating this as a learning curve then am going to use the whole of this year building relationships with businesses so that Newry Food Revolution 2014 will be even bigger and become a local festival which people look forward to each year.

I would again like to thank any sponsors and helping businesses who are potentially reading this Newry & Mourne District Council, Sainsbury’s, Grounded Espresso Bars, Sticky Fingers, The Fun House, Personal Best PT, The WellFit Cafe, Choice by Lisa, Ambition 21 Events and Harvest Health Store. Without their help none of this could happen. Hope this helps you and inspires you a little bit to make a difference in your area.

Viva La Revolution!

About The Author: Odhran McCorry. Founder and owner of Personal Best PT in Newry, has distinguished himself as a leading Personal Trainer in Northern Ireland. Specializing in one-on-one training and small group training, he is helping his clients achieve phenomenal results in health and fitness. Because of his contribution to his industry and his outstanding business success, he is being featured as one of the World Fitness Elite in The Independent in the UK and in USA Today in America. He now aims to improve the health of his local Newry & Mourne area through his work as Newry’s ambassador for the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution.


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