Tell us about yourself

My name is Julie Clay and I am the founder of Food etc. I have lived in Bedford for over 25 years and raised our two now grown up children here. Please connect on Linkedin to find out more about me.

What attracted you to setting up Food etc?

I’ve always been interested in cooking and food and although I had no qualifications in teaching or food I wanted to do something more worthwhile alongside my day job as a communications consultant.

What’s your favourite thing about Food etc?

As a new organisation we are constantly learning and I love that. We’re always meeting new people and discovering how what we do benefits all sorts of people in different ways. When we were initially thinking about delivering cookery workshops we thought it was simply about helping people to eat better. But we’ve realised it’s much more than that. It brings people together who wouldn’t usually spend quality time together, it brings mental and physical health benefits and it empowers people to take more control over aspects of their lives to name just a few, but a powerful few.

What have been your greatest challenges?

Initially choosing April 2020 as a launch date which turned out to be the beginning of Covid and all that went with it. Since then it’s really been about time and having lots of ideas and opportunities but not enough hours in the day so having to choose between things when we’d like to do nearly all of them.

What would you say to someone considering volunteering with Food etc?

Please give it a go! Most of our volunteers are involved in delivering cookery workshops which requires around 3 hours a week but we have other people helping with admin and marketing for example, so we would almost definitely need you whatever your skills and experience.