A pilot project to provide a meeting place for people in Newtown and fresh, nutritious but inexpensive food has been called a ‘tremendous success’ and is to become a monthly fixture.
A core team of five people worked for about three months bringing in other people as the need arose to develop the market which was held on November 22 at St Anne’s parish hall.
There were craft stalls, second-hand clothing, fresh fruit and vegetables, a fair trade stall and a stall promoting composting. A small jazz band played outside the hall for the Saturday afternoon event and gave people the opportunity to sing and dance together.
Organisers were delighted with the results. There was a ‘real buzz’ about the place and so many people ‘looked happy and were interested’.
The idea came from a social analysis workshop in St Anne’s Parish in May when participants decided to explore the impact of rising food prices on the local community. In the course of their investigations, particularly with immigrants and tenants in the city council flats, they discovered that people were more concerned with the lack of any community meeting place.
One of the organisers, Duncan Holland, called the venture, ‘a testimony to the value of commitment and perseverance’.
The group is planning to stage a similar market day on the last Saturday of each month from next February.
Images: top: Kate Smith, Denise Blewman and Helen Frances explain the techniques of creating good compost. Kate and Denise work at Common Ground on the Home of Compassion property in Island Bay bringing people who do not have access to land of their own to garden in a shared plot.
above: Polly Brodie, Renee Crocker, Anne-Marie McCarten and Duncan Holland from the organising group.