Shropshire Star

Oswestry food share project builds on relationship with local firm

The Oswestry food share and community kitchen, OsNosh, has teamed up with a business in the town for its first partnership event in March.

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The team at OsNosh

Aico has provided continued support to OsNosh since 2020, in the form of funding educational programmes, weekly colleague volunteer days and fundraising.

Together they will hold a charity dinner at The Townhouse Bar & Brasserie in Oswestry on March 27.

OsNosh is a Community Interest Company, whose partnership developed with Aico during the pandemic, particularly over the lockdowns. Colleagues volunteered their time to deliver community meals to vulnerable, isolated people in and around Oswestry.

Since then, Aico has continued to strengthen its partnership with OsNosh providing volunteering support and funding innovative educational projects. On one of its community kitchen days, every week, a colleague from Aico volunteers at OsNosh on the food share tables, helping prepare meals in the kitchen and serving meals to the local community.

Martin Przewozny, regional specification manager at Aico, with volunteers from OsNosh

Duncan Orr, an Aico manager, who spent a day there said: “OsNosh does fantastic work year-round supporting the local community and creating some amazing meals from scratch using sustainable, fresh ingredients donated from local supermarkets, helping to reduce food waste. It was inspiring to see and a pleasure to be able to help in some small way.”

In 2022, the company provided the funding required for Osnosh to deliver a hands-on cookery programme to students from The Marches School in Oswestry. The programme aims to teach basic kitchen skills, alongside building self-esteem, developing employability skills and creating an inclusive learning experience different to the traditional classroom setting.

These sessions also explore the environmental and social impact of food waste and how this can be addressed, as well as changing the attitudes of an important generation at a critical time.

Feed a Family

Ben Wilson, one of the directors at OsNosh said: “Since starting our project teaching cookery skills to disengaged students for The Marches School, we have seen some incredible changes. We have seen young people come out of themselves, gaining confidence and self-esteem; we have seen students who are usually disruptive become focused and cautious; we’ve seen some students’ love of food blossom into a want to find a career as a chef. We’ve even seen tears of joy from teachers.

"None of this would have been possible without Aico’s enduring funding, support and belief in the importance and value of this project, and of the students themselves. Likewise, none of this would have been possible without the dedication, compassion and professionalism of Justine Holdsworth from The Marches School.”

Following the success of an initial pilot programme and ongoing funding from Aico, OsNosh is now able to expand this programme, develop community links and invest in the young people of Oswestry.

Ben said the charity dinner would be an opportunity for the local community and supporters of OsNosh to experience and enjoy a three-course meal prepared, cooked and served by the students in a real award-winning restaurant.

All funds raised will help OsNosh continue its work supporting the local community.