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May 2014: Times Past and Present

It’s been another busy month for us in the office as we prepare for the round of training events for existing and new volunteers who want to sign up as Eating Together volunteers. There are dates available throughout the summer and if you’d like to know more, please do get in touch with and she’ll be able to fill you in on the details.

We’re also gearing up for running our FarmDrop. There’s an article on the FarmDrop blog, linked here, that tells you all about that, and I do hope you will be interested in signing up as a member. We need to reach 100 people before the first event can run, so do please take a look – it might be just the shopping opportunity you have been waiting for!

In the midst of this busy time it was very beneficial for me to go to a meeting with some other HIV charities to talk about how we can best look after the Aids Memorial Quilt. The making of quilt panels in memory of those who died of AIDS was an international project that led to the creation of thousands of beautiful memorials, particularly during the 1980s and 1990s. Each hand made panel was accompanied by a short narrative piece talking about the life of the person remembered, sometimes with photographs too.  The panels were often displayed in public at memorial services. I remember seeing hundreds of them laid out in Hyde Park in June 1994. I’ve also contributed to the making of the panels for friends and it feels very important to me that we should now try and find a home for the collection where the records can be held and the panels cared for in the best way possible. At the moment George House Trust looks after a good many of the panels and there are other collections at Lighthouse West and with other agencies.

The project is a partnership that will work to locate as many of the UK panels as possible with a view to making the entire collection available digitally and finding a safe haven for the conservation of the original panels. I am proud that The Food Chain is a part of the partnership. Our work must always be a balance of remembering those we have lost to HIV as well as celebrating the great advances in treatment, and this is a very practical way for us to do that. For me it’s act of remembrance I will really value as the project progresses.

The lovely bursts of sunshine we have had recently have meant that outdoor life is possible and I was pleased to make this month’s recipe for a friend’s birthday picnic. It’s the Massaged Kale Salad, as featured at our own Spring Office Picnics – and as many people have said it is a very relaxed dish!

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