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So that was 2021…

Posted on 16th December 2021

By George Perry, Executive Director

And here we are, hurtling towards Christmas already!  How do I summarise a year like the one we’ve just had?  It’s been a rollercoaster for Heart of BS13 that’s for sure, starting with our pandemic food response that ran from April 2020 and ended in May 2021, we sent out over 40,000 meals to 400 shielding and vulnerable households across BS13.  Thankfully, we’ve been able to continue our support on a smaller scale to households that need it, taking referrals from GP’s, Social Care and local support organisations, and providing delicious chef prepared meals for between 25-30 households in the area.  Sales from our Real Meals (sold online and in stores across Bristol) keep this work going, so if you fancy a delicious home cooked dinner without the hassle of washing up, then click on the link and shop away!

In the spring we learned that our partnership with Windmill Hill City Farm to take on the Hartcliffe Farm site had been successful, and we are incredibly excited to begin this journey, rejuvenating the space so that it becomes a lively and successful local attraction.

This summer, with funding support from LiveWest, The Big Lottery and Enovert we’ve been able to redesign our Roundhouse site, landscaping it into a fully accessible amphitheatre that will be able to safely host large outdoor gatherings.  We’ll be putting the finishing touches to the site in the spring of 2022, and it feels more important than ever to have a beautiful and functional space that can offer lots of opportunities to socialise outside.  We can’t wait to welcome the community back for events there next year.  

Although we’ve spent the year grappling with bubbles, closures and self-isolation, this summer we launched our Climate Action programme.  We’ve been working with over 1000 young people and their families to explore the climate and biodiversity emergency and the actions we can and must take to decarbonise our communities.  It’s been an inspiring journey and you can check out our climate action webpage to see what we’ve learned and how we’ll be taking forward the priorities that have emerged in the BS13 climate action plan. 

By late summer, we were busy crowd funding for our Real Meals on Wheels cargo bike and thanks to all our supporters we hit our target a week early!  We’ve commissioned Cycles Maximus in Bath to build our dream machine and will be launching a mobile shop selling quality food essentials at affordable prices in the new year. 

Most of you will be reading this newsletter because you’ve become a Heart of BS13 customer, enjoying the delicious veg and beautiful flowers that we grow in our kitchen garden.  We want to say a huge thank you to our amazing horticulture team and how excited we are that our core volunteers will be stepping up to take the lead on our new flower farm and organic composting work.

Finally, as we close the year, we want to say a big thanks to YOU, our loyal friends, supporters, and customers.  We really appreciate you buying what we make and sell and supporting us on our journey towards sustainable enterprise.