Camden Can Innovation Fund winners announced
Camden Council recently announced a series of ground-breaking projects to be funded through the Camden Can Innovation Fund.
The fund, which the Council launched in November last year, invited applications for new and inventive projects to help Camden residents eat more healthily and take part in more exercise, to prevent obesity.
More than 40 organisations applied, and on Friday 25 May Councillor Angela Mason, Cabinet Member for Best Start in Life, joint chair of Camden’s Healthy Weight Healthy Lives Partnership, met representatives from the winning organisations.
“’Camden Can’ is our new campaign to get everybody in the borough more active and eating more healthily. These are great projects, which will get us all moving and eating better. Thank goodness Somers town, which was a ‘veg’ free zone, will now have its own local fruit and veg stall.
“I look forward to watching each project develop over the coming year and seeing the positive impact they will have on our communities in Camden.”
“Each project being funded is unique, from fresh fruit and veg boxes saving good food from going to landfill, to defying the stereotype of computer games leading to hours on the sofa.
“I am particularly keen to see the impact Comoodle’s asset-sharing platform can have in our communities, making easy access to both space and equipment a reality for many groups – helping them not only bring people together for exercise but getting people out and about to become a welcome part of their local community.”
The fund will support projects including:
An innovative social enterprise to give residents access to low-cost fruit and veg boxes using surplus food – complete with recipes to help people get easier access to cheap, healthy food as well as reducing waste. Josephine Liang, director of DayOld, said: “We will be starting with a pilot in one area with the hope of rolling the scheme out across Camden. Many people would like to change their eating habits but they find it too expensive, or just don’t know where to start. Our project will help make healthy eating a reality.”
Comoodle is a project that can make a real difference; an online platform that organisations can use to share their resources for local activities so everything gets used more often and by more people. Project manager, Mark White, said: “If a local group needs equipment, or a place to host their club or activity, they can search Comoodle to find what they need. It will help build connections between local people and organisations, making it possible for more activities to take place and saving groups money.
Wac Arts, a charity that runs performing arts and media programmes for young people of all abilities aged five to 26, will be creating a new game to help young people with learning disabilities get more exercise. Chas Mollet, inclusive technology officer, said: “The game will combine physical activity with assistive technology hardware and software. Players will have to exercise to ‘level up’. We will be working with young people to co-create the game. All too often people think of gaming as the opposite of exercise, but our project aims to change their minds.”
Somers Town Community Association
Somers Town Community Association will be working with students from Central Saint Martins College and their local community to create and launch the people’s fruit and veg stall. This will operate as a cooperative to give local people access to affordable fresh food. Sarah Elie, the association’s executive director, said: “Older people, in particular, will benefit. As well as getting a walk they’ll be able to meet and chat to other people, take part in cooking and tasting sessions and be part of the community.”
Onigo is creating a new lifestyle activity – digital active games. These immersive experiences are delivered through smartphones in real city parks around the world. In Camden, teams will take part in missions that will take them throughout the borough – think outdoor adventure games like Pokemon Go! The idea is to get users active, meeting new people and exploring outdoors. Director, Arthur Stril, said: “With these digital adventures, hundreds of residents will be able to get out of doors and discover a social and fun way to get active.”
The attached image, pictures individuals (left to right) representing; Central St Martins, Onigo, Somers Town Community Association, DayOld Eats and Wac Arts along with Councillor Angela Mason, Cabinet Member for Best Start in Life.
Councillor Angela Mason