Our Food Ambassadors giving evidence in the House of Lords

House of Lords Food Diet and Obesity Committee

We were honoured four of our Food Ambassadors were invited to give evidence to the House of Lords Food, Diet and Obesity CommitteeDominic Watters, Kathleen Kerridge, Penny Walters, and Caroline Woollam each shared powerful testimonies about how the cost of living crisis is affecting families and their struggle to afford and access healthy food. You can watch the session in full here.

In this blog, they share their reflections about the experience.

Dominic Watters, Kent

What was it like presenting to the Lords?
It was great speak up for council estate single parents experiencing food insecurity as we don’t get heard.

Is there anything you wish you’d said or you wish you'd been asked?
Someone to financially support my campaign #FoodisCare so that real sustainable change can happen for the poorest in society.

What do you hope will happen next?
My speech has gone viral on TikTok so the impact will live on 🙏.

@singledadsw Council estate single dad in the House of Lords?? #CostofLiving #PoorPeople #FoodInsecurity #foryoupage #fypシ゚viral ♬ original sound - @SingleDadSW

Kathleen Kerridge, Hampshire

What was it like presenting to the Lords?
It was amazing to have the opportunity to speak to the Committee at the House of Lords; to feel as though my voice can be heard, and what I have to say is important, was amazing as living in any kind of poverty can easily make people feel invisible.

Is there anything you wish you’d said or you wish you'd been asked?
I'm slightly annoyed with myself for omitting certain clarifications, for example, when I mentioned I can spend £150 of my £180 weekly wages on food, I meant it's easy to reach that amount when buying a healthy sustainable diet for a family of four, but I'm sure the committee understood my meaning at the time.

What do you hope will happen next?
I would like to see firm action taken at a government level to reduce the amount of families struggling to purchase affordable healthy food. We're in crisis in the UK at the moment, and the situation has become untenable. I hope by speaking about my experiences to the committee, I have taken a step towards positive change.

Caroline Woollam, Chesshire

What was it like presenting to the Lords?
It was absolutely amazing to present to the House of Lords and I would definitely do it again in a heartbeat. I found it was a very calm, welcoming place to be.

Is there anything you wish you’d said or you wish you'd been asked?
There are a few things I wish I'd have asked but I also wish I had taken pen and paper to be able to jot stuff down as I feel I had so much more to say but I needed to be able to note the things I was thinking when the others in our panel were speaking.

What do you hope will happen next?
I had a lot to piggyback on but I hope from here, we are heard and we start to see a difference. I'm going to start pushing things locally and should the chance to do that again crop up I'd definitely do it again but more prepared.

  • The Food, Diet and Obesity Committee was set up in February to consider the role of foods, such as ‘ultra-processed foods’, and foods high in fat, salt and sugar, in a healthy diet and tackling obesity. It has been inviting experts, citizens and organisations to submit their views on the issues and is due to publish a report with recommendations after the upcoming General Election.

Kathleen Kerridge

Kathleen Kerridge is an office manager and freelance writer from Portsmouth, and has been campaigning against Food Insecurity since January 2015 when she personally faced the realities of Food Poverty in modern Britain.

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Caroline Woollam

Heyy I'm Caroline, A down to earth, happy grateful, straight to the point person, A mum to three amazing children with a carer of children's entertainment and coffee under my belt, I love making wedding/birthday cakes, producing some cool window art, nails, hair, crafts, I love anything DIY from laying floors, decorating, making furniture and beds, there's not much I can't do, I cherish every second of it and I do it all with a huge smile, whilst feeling blessed despite having serious health issues. I also homeschool my youngest child who has learning difficulties and is ASD. Not bad eh!

I would love to make a difference all round where food is concerned but especially around schools and families who struggle but also those of us that do homeschool or have special needs and spend more time at home. As a child I couldn't make a big difference, or speak up, but having a very poorly parent meant I went without, surely someone could have helped, right?! Well as an adult I can help and I can push to ensure other children and adults alike don't go without, but we are louder together! We can push for healthier options and better quality. Alone, I know I can make a difference, as I have recently, imagine what we can, will and do already achieve, together! 

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