Alumni Spotlight: Harley

14th March 2014 by

Everyone who goes on a cycle tour, joins our green jobs training programme, or comes to us for support to set up their own project becomes part of our alumni network. We send them weekly updates, filled with  green, world-changing jobs, interesting volunteering opportunities and events, a bit of Otesha news, and something to make them smile! Basically, we like to keep in touch, find out what they’re up to and support them however we can. Here’s a little spotlight on one of our wonderful alumni!

1. Which Otesha tour did you go on?

Tastetastic 2012 – Scotlaaaand!

2. What were you100_5861r tour highs and lows?

Highs - Too many to mention but I really loved our time at Broomhill community garden in Burntisland with Elly and the founders of Fife Diet. Our first day working out in the sunshine and meeting some very dedicated and inspiring people.

Lows - Having to jump on a train on our first proper day cycling… my knee was not up for it and I was worried that was me done for the tour I’d been so excited about. (With a couple of days rest it was fine and I lived to tell the tale!)


3. Briefly, what have you been up to since the tour?

After the tour I moved back to Newcastle and have been living up there until very recently. Living with an incredible bunch, cooking and eating tonnes of big communal veggie delights. Enjoying the beaut that is Northumberland, cycling, learning lots about growing veg, taking kids on farm tours and making them taste new things! Getting dirty growing and selling tasty veggies, dancing, adventuring and planning exciting things for the future!

4. Tell us a bit more about Food Nation…

For the past year I’ve been working on a number of projects for an organisation called Food Nation. They are a social enterprise based in the East End of Newcastle that aim to inspire people about good food. This varies from cookery classes for all ages/abilities, outreach at a number of schools, community centres, universities and events. They also have an allotment where they run a few programmes for local schools to visit and engage with gardening, food growing, cooking and tasting! They are also linked to Food Newcastle which has been set up to improve some of the food systems in Newcastle by setting up a Food Charter – read more here. It’s been a pleasure to work on such a range of food related initiatives with them and I recommend checking them out!

SONY DSC5. What impact has the Otesha tour had on you?

I was lucky enough to get onto the tour just after graduating and I think Otesha has given me a fundamental backbone of inspiration, knowledge and positivity. Learning so much more about FOOD and confirming my desire to GET INVOLVED. Falling in love with cycling. Friends! (I met the most brilliant of humans!) Feeling part of a powerful network of individuals from all over the world. Despite not living in London I have still felt supported by Otesha and looking forward to getting more involved when in London. It’s confirmed my view that by creating an enthusiastic and inspiring example (by DOing), others will feel encouraged to join in and get involved themselves. Also, by educating people with a fun and playful approach, it can be a much more influential way of changing the habits of individuals.…… I am also a lot less scared of standing in front of a class of children which has come in handy!

6. Are you still involved with Otesha and how?100_5617

Only a fan from afar but hopefully this will change now I’m a little closer!

7. What advice would you give to new tour members?

Don’t bother with those ‘waterproof’ socks… They don’t really work.

Just get ready to have a wonderfully fun and productive time, meet glorious people and learn loads!

8. Describe your Otesha experience in 3 words, a picture, or an action?


Tasty Tales – The Journey Begins

6th August 2012 by

Thursday 3rd Augst

Tupperware Feast

It’s so very nearly begun! After two weeks of learning and sorting in the Otesha office in London we (Kerry and Tamsin, tour liaisons) are pretty much ready to go. We have a day off tomorrow to sort out our personal stuff and then we will be setting off with a group trailer each on the train to Scotland!

So what do the next three weeks have in store? Well we will be cycling around central and southern Scotland with 18 other people, walking (or pedalling) the sustainability talk, learning lots about sustainable food, spreading the Otesha love and inspiring young people through a variety of workshops to change their world. This is the first ever three week tour and there are so many wonderful pedallers on it that we are going to be cycling on two different routes so we can reach even more people. Half of the group will be heading North around Fife and then back down south of Glasgow and the other half are going to the south, through the Borders, even dipping a toe into Cumbria before heading back up to the Clyde Valley.

Our food workshop in action


So in the last two weeks we have been photocopying maps, planning routes, phoning up everyone else on the tour to check how they are getting on, making a routebinder with all of the whens and wheres of the tour and all of the nearest facilities and double and triple checking the group trailers with all of the cooking, workshop and bike equipment in. We have also been learning about bike maintenance, working in schools & our tour liaison responsibilities on tour. All very important and every little bit brings the tour a bit nearer and convinces us that it really is happening! Now we are ready and raring to go, let us at that open road…

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