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Case Study: Nepali Elders in Hampshire

Case Study: Nepali Elders in Hampshire

Case Study: Nepali Elders in Hampshire

The Nepali Elders English and Craft Exchange group is a gathering of retired British Gurkhas and the older members of their families. They meet every Thursday at St Barnabas Church, Winchester to improve their English, learn about the British way of life - its customs and traditions - and share each nationality's cultures and crafting skills. The group ran a community 'Bring home the Harvest ' celebration on Thursday 25th September 2014. 

Rama Gurung, who volunteers as a translator for the group, mentioned the 'Bring Home the Harvest' initiative to her Tesco colleague, Malcolm Prince, who offered to donate a large box of Bramley apples from his local allotment along with tomatoes, chillies, marrow and courgette. The Elders had made alphabet books to help with their lessons. 

'A' for Apple, being the first entry in their book, helped decide the theme for the community bake! More apples were gathered from local woods and a simple mini apple crumble was chosen as a way to celebrate this year's amazing apple glut and share the harvest with others. 

Before cooking commenced, Dawn Conchie, volunteer facilitator of the group, explained about our seasons, harvest time and the diverse foods produced in Hampshire. She explained about the amazing range of meat & produce available at the monthly Farmers Market held in Winchester. It was a new experience for the Elders to use our type of peelers and also to stew apples, and the sound of laughter resonated through the church annex as the apples were prepared. 

Volunteers from the local foodbank joined us in the kitchen to sample the finished result. The elders then donated all the surplus apples to the food bank. The giant marrow and courgette were cut up and divided amongst the Elders to take home and experiment with, along with the chillies and the tomatoes - having never had marrow or courgette before, the Elders returned the following week having created a new recipe – they added chilli, chickpeas, garlic, tomatoes, turmeric and garam masala. We hope to produce original recipe leaflets to sell at our Autumn Fair. This Community Bake was made possible by the kindness of others and food bringing different people together in a way that is good for all. We can't wait to do it again!

“Bring Home The Harvest was a wonderful opportunity for our Nepalese Elders to celebrate the Seasons and Harvest Time, something they haven't had an opportunity to do since leaving Nepal. It was a real treat to join in the celebration, working with our local community using locally sourced produce, and inspiring many new language discussions". Dawn Conchie, Volunteer “I baked pies for the first time and it made me very, very happy to share them”. Durgi Dura Gurung, Participant.