Introducing our new Community Activator

The Food and Climate Action project is an ambitious project linking together Glasgow Community Food Network, Urban Roots, St Paul's Youth Forum, The Space, Glasgow Eco Trust and Central and West Integration Network to transform Glasgow’s food system and reduce its impact on the climate crisis.

Building on the aims of the new Glasgow City Food Plan, the project will improve food education, establish a local green assembly, increase the amount of land being used for urban agriculture and mobilise young people to become climate leaders.

Community groups will also be able to pitch for micro-funding to get good food projects underway and new jobs will be created encouraging Community Activators to inspire change in their communities.

More about my role

My name is Donna Borokinni and I'm the Community Activator for the West of the city and will be hosted by Glasgow Eco Trust for the next 18 months.

I began my career in community development more than 18  years ago.  I see food as a valuable tool to engage with  people.  After gaining a formal nutrition qualification in 2005,  I then went on to work in partnership with schools, nurseries,  NHS, housing associations, community organisations and local  councils to develop and deliver bespoke cookery programmes.

I’ve worked with a number of organisations delivery cookery programmes, setting up food initiatives, food hubs, community meals and provided training to service providers and users.  I also supported a group of women to set up a successful social enterprise.

I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to work closely with schools to train parents and children in cookery skills and teach food and health as part of the Curriculum for Excellence.  Before joining the Food and Climate action project, I worked with the Soil Association for 2years on their Food For Life, Get Togethers Programme, which aimed to bring people together around good food; food that was good for people, the planet and the local economy.  

Over the next 18months  the Food & Climate Action project will be working across the city to grow community-led activity to face the challenges that climate change will bring for us all and our food system. With a clear focus on the climate and land use it was important for us to connect with an organisation who’s key aims is to put people, planet and place at the heart of their work and I am very excited to be at the ECO trust for this reason.

There are four main areas of my work:

Food education

This is where you are most likely to see me out and about – at workshops, events and in schools – helping people in their aspirations to grow and cook food, preserve food, forage, access land, prevent food waste and learn about the injustices of the current food system.

COP26 events and campaigning

I supported a series of events which were more about politics and activism during the UN Summit on Climate Change which was in Glasgow this November. These focused on raising awareness of the issues driving climate change, what makes our food system so polluting, or how agriculture will have to adapt to the changing climate. In this the voices from the Global South and also those from marginalised groups in the UK were recognised and heard. This work is not over and we will continue to have these discussions and think about the legacy of COP 26 and how can we continue with the great work and strengthens connections made during this time.

Food Forums

I will be setting up a Food Forum in the local community, which will bring together teachers, cooks, gardeners, community cafes, pensioners, asylum seekers (everyone), to empower and facilitate community decision making. Ideas for new initiatives and projects will be developed collaboratively, and will be funded through a Peer Budgeting model. This is where local projects are assessed for funding by other local projects.

Food and Climate cafes

The fourth area of my work will be running a series of Food and Climate cafes – to form an in-depth shared vision of Glasgow, created by the people who live here, that will steer the direction of our project.  I'm very excited to hear everyone's ideas and develop a positive, hopeful vision together.

I hope this has made things a little bit clearer on what I will be doing in my role. I do hope you have a very restful winter break and I look forward to working with you all in the New Year.  If you would like to chat to me about anything, have any interesting idea, want to know how to get involved, or just want more information, please do get drop my an email at: DonnaB[email protected]