Existing training courses
If you run a small organisation it might be a good idea to sign up to existing courses run by other bodies rather than try to run them in-house or design them from scratch.
Many of these are free of charge for community projects. If there is a fee, funding may be available. You local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group or environmental health department who may offer free courses on nutrition, cooking skills or basic food hygiene and safety.
If you have a local Volunteer Centre or Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) they will probably offer free training courses on, for example volunteer management, fundraising or making the most of the media. Business Link organisations also offer some free or low-cost training courses, for example on marketing, customer service or book-keeping. There may also be relevant courses run at your local college, which will also be free or subsidised for those receiving benefits.
Some community food initiatives run their own accredited training courses, specifically to help share learning with other community food projects such as food co-ops. These can be quite in-depth and take place over several weeks or months. Some courses may be offered free to people in the local area but participants from further afield would usually have to pay.
Case study - Know Your Onions
Somerset Community Food has developed and run a popular and engaging programme of training called 'Know Your Onions'. The course is for people working on food access issues, to help them address local needs and to set up sustainable community food projects. The courses are also for community groups and individuals interested in food issues. Somerset Community Food is at present exploring the possibility of offering this training more widely, including developing a distance learning version. The training course has been accredited by the Open College Network so, on some courses, participants will be able to gain nationally recognised qualifications. The six modules are: Community Projects, Sharing, Growing, Nourishing, Handling the Money and Bid Writing. For more information visit : http://www.somersetcommunityfood.org.uk/?Training
Case study - Community Food Enterprise National Training Programme
The National Training Programme for Community Food Workers was developed by Community Food Enterprise Ltd (CFE), which is based in the London Borough of Newham in East London. The course has its roots in the experience of community food workers in many parts of England and, in particular, food access and food poverty projects in Newham. It is a 28-session programme comprising seven units spread over four months and costs from £250 - £310 per unit. The programme covers a range of themes: food access; food poverty; nutrition; cooking skills; food policy; and food, environment and globalisation. For more information visit: http://www.community-food-enterprise.org.uk/