LUSH Spring Prize, May 2017

Back in February I applied to be the customer voice for LUSH as part of their Spring Prize event. This opportunity involved going through hundreds of charitable projects from around the globe with a team of experts, and deciding which ones would be awarded a share of the £200,000 LUSH were donating.

Unfortunately I wasn’t selected as the customer voice, however the LUSH team still invited me to their event at Emerson College in East Sussex for the day, and I thought this would be an important and significant addition to my blog. I’m a big fan of the LUSH charity pots and the SLush Fund which you can read more about here.

What is the LUSH Spring Prize I hear you ask?! Well, it’s a new fund set-up by LUSH to award social and environmental regeneration projects from around the globe so that they can continue to build and grow their charitable projects. There were four categories to be awarded and 11 projects were awarded across the four categories:

All of these projects make a positive environmental and social impact, highlighting the importance of permaculture and it was a joy to spend the day with so many passionate and like minded people.

Throughout the day we could choose to attend different sessions around the regeneration theme. A couple of my favourites were ‘Food for thought’ with Mama D and ‘Biomimicry’ with Spring Prize Judge Gamelihle Sibanda.

The ‘Food for thought’ session was highly emotional, having to close your eyes for 35 minutes and trust your other senses. While music and sounds were being played, you were given different food to eat, acknowledge various smells in the air, and branches being brushed against you as if you were walking through a jungle or forest. It was a fully immersive experience which made you really think where your food comes from and how others around the world may experience food. You can read more about Mama D and her project here.

Biomimicry is something which has fascinated me for a while now. If you’re not sure what it is, it’s pretty much taking ideas from nature and using these design principles to make objects or items we may use in our everyday lives. For example, shark skin has been analysed and the structure principles were used in full-body Olympic swim suits; these were banned in the 2012 Olympics as they were deemed to have an unfair advantage to those wearing them against competitors who weren’t.

To round off the afternoon before the evening celebrations, there was a ‘Reasons to be cheerful’ panel of experts for a Q&A session, which was hosted by John Robb of post-punk band ‘The Membranes‘ and made up of Spring Prize judges, Spring Prize winners, Alicia Carey of Hawkwood College and Susan Clark of The Ecologist.

In the evening we were served a mix of vegetarian and vegan delights, whilst being entertained by local folk act ‘Folkadelix’ and celebrating the award winners and watching them receive their prizes.

All-in-all it was such a good day and for some reason I’m struggling to put into words just how amazing it was. I created a video using clips from my phone for the event, which doesn’t quite do it justice, but I hope you enjoy!

Many Thanks to Ethical Consumer and LUSH for inviting me and creating such a rewarding and successful event.

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