Sudbury: Local ‘Food Hero’ named

WHEN it comes to knowing your onions Louise Scurr is officially up there with the best.

The 43-year-old has just been named Local Food Hero 2012 for her outstanding contribution to a community food-growing initiative.

Ms Scurr, from Sudbury, fought off dozens of competitors to take the title for the eastern region for her part in the Seed to Table project, which is run through the Bridge Project in Gainsborough Street.

Through training and practical experience the project offers vulnerable, disadvantaged adults a range of gardening activities.

Ms Scurr’s accolade has come from Local Food – a �59.8m scheme that distributes grants from the Big Lottery Fund to community growing projects.

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The Seed to Table initiative received a �16,313 grant from Local Food in 2011 to create an allotment for seasonal vegetables and fruit in the garden of the Bridge Project’s Bradbury Courtyard premises. The freshly picked produce is used to provide affordable meals in a community caf�, lunch for an over 65s’ club and hot meals for a delivery service.

Ms Scurr, who has autism, has been a student at the Bridge Project for several years and enthusiastically embraced Seed to Table, according to co-worker Emma Eynon, who nominated her for the award.

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She said Ms Scurr had overcome an initial lack of confidence to develop her gardening skills, adding: “I nominated Louise because she is generous, not only with her time, but also with resources. She recently donated a plastic greenhouse, despite being on a budget herself, and this has been a big help to the project.

“Despite Louise’s difficulties, she has grown into a valuable, helpful and giving member of the Seed to Table team, and we are thrilled that she has been recognised as a Local Food Hero.”

Ms Scurr said she was “very surprised” to win the award, adding: “Watching things grow is the best part of gardening for me. This year, I have helped grow onions, garlic, carrots, herbs and pea shoots – and parsnips which are my favourite.”

And she has no plans to rest on her laurels now she has won the top award.

“I have already got plans for what I’d like to grow next year,” Louise added. “It would be good to find a blight-resistant form of tomato to grow because we had a lot of trouble with that this year.

“It feels really good to know that the food I grow gets used in the caf� and people can enjoy it. Gardening is just great fun.”

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