Norman shares his food journey and how he ended up joining a community food project.

When I was young, the house we lived in had a long back garden. On the top of it, we used to grow all sorts in the summer. It was mainly my dad who taught me to grow veg. My old school, Ripley St Thomas, had a working farm, so growing food is something I’ve always done. As I had something to show for my hard work (fresh veg!), it kept me motivated and led me to my first allotment.”

“My allotment was near where my sister lived. Unfortunately, she lost her husband, and I wanted to support her. I thought ‘what is more important – my sister or my allotment?’ I decided ‘my sister’ so I stopped going to the allotment for a while.”

“When she was alright, and went back to the allotment, there had been a change of committee. They said, “I know you’ve had a run of bad luck, but because you haven’t been, we are throwing you off!” So, I walked away.”

“My current home has no garden so I wanted to find somewhere to grow and meet people. One Friday, I woke up and something told me to go into town, even though I didn’t want to. There was a lady in Lancaster Market Square that was giving out leaflets for the Claver Hill community food project.”

“I went up to Claver Hill a few days later – I have now been helping out at Claver Hill for about five years! I do the odd jobs around the site – tidying up and collecting pallets etc.”

“I like the people here. Everyone helps and supports each other. Like one big happy family. I feel supported. It gets me out stopping me from looking at four walls 24 hours a day. I have seen it happen to other people and I thought ‘no’, I’m not going that way.”

“The only thing I have to watch out for now, is my workload. I can get around this as the flexibility of Claver Hill lets me do as much or as little as I can.”

“When I saw the lady from my old allotment, I told her “Kindly tell the committee, thank you.” She said “why?”  I said “He did me a favour. It was the best thing he ever did. Otherwise, I would never have found Claver Hill”.

We are keen to hear, learn from and share more food journeys and stories of change.

For example: Have you started eating more local and seasonal food?  Have you started cooking from scratch? Have you reduced the amount of meat and dairy you eat? Have you started to grow some of your own fruit and veg? Do you try to eat more organic produce? Or have you joined or set up a community food project?

We are interested to understand what led to the above, and what supported (and challenged you!) along the way. If you are willing to share your food journey, please contact

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