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The Root Camp Bursary Club

We are building our donor network


We believe that social mix is the route to a healthy society. We therefore want to increase the numbers of free and subsidised places for young people who can’t afford the course fee.

So, we need to build up our bursary fund.

Currently, a quarter of our participants are funded by bursaries.  We want to double that within five years.

Our aim is to bring together 20 organisations and individuals to create a group of supporters – all linked by common interests and values.

What you give:

By joining the Root Camp Bursary Club you would donate £1000 per year for 3 years, supporting one young adult each year to attend a Root Camp of their choosing.

Each course consists of 16 young people, aged 15-21, who are from a mix of backgrounds. They live, work and cook together for six days on a farm, in the heart of the countryside. It is an intense ‘learning through doing’ experience.

We focus on 15-21-year olds because they may be at a stage in their lives where they are becoming more independent and eating outside the family home.

Root Camp is an unforgettable lifetime experience, and you would give them the chance not just to learn about food and cooking, but also develop their communication and team-working skills. Our bursary students have gone on to become chefs, nutritionists and more.

What you get:

Connection – with three young people (one per year), following their progress through and after Root Camp.

Dinner – with other like-minded organisations and individuals, hosted by Root Camp and alumni.

Visit – a chance to meet your sponsee at a Root Camp, see what we’re up to and be our VIP guest.

Join the Root Camp Bursary Club Now.


Why now?

Health problems associated with being overweight or obese are estimated to cost the NHS around £6 billion a year. Annual spend on the treatment of obesity and diabetes is greater than the amount spent on the police, the fire service and the judicial system combined[i].

The fast-food/ready-meal culture offers consumers an abundance of choice. However, this leads to the over-consumption of processed foods and a lack of consumption of whole and fresh foods – especially amongst young adults – only 13% of who consume the recommended intake of fruit and vegetables[ii].

In a world where 795 million people suffer from undernourishment[iii], it is shocking that, at the end of a long and costly journey from production to plate, approximately one third of all the food we buy is simply thrown away.

Why us?

Root Camp opens up the conversations around food and the environment

Root Camp is addressing these societal problems. Our mission is to diminish the distance between producers and consumers and inspire young people to change their eating patterns and consumer behaviour.

We offer young people hands-on food related activities and the skills to prepare simple, healthy, cost-effective meals from scratch. We believe that if young people work close to nature, connect to the source of ingredients and have the confidence to prepare tasty meals – they will, over time, make healthier food choices.

“I’d never seen a radicchio before in my life, but now that I know it exists I will search all the fields in Lancashire to find some”  Freddie (2016)


How Root Camp works

When the group arrives, they are divided into two and alternate between cooking and field activities.  In the kitchen they learn cooking techniques and prepare seasonal dishes. Outside activities range from working in the kitchen garden, farming, foraging, fishing and beekeeping, carving, and cheese-making – under the supervision of local experts. Everyone eats together and every meal is a celebration.

In the evenings we welcome supper guests from the foodie world, who come and talk about their work – be it chocolate making, growing pulses, organic farming or environmental research….

Diet is a huge factor in how well they manage. Statistics show teenagers consume a lot of sugary drinks, eat fewer vegetables than they should, and deplete their intake of vitamins and minerals. Obesity within this age group is increasing faster than in any other.

If Root Camp was established as an experience for every young adult, we could make a difference to the growing level of health-related diseases in this country. The format is adaptable, scalable and effective. Our alumni can cook for their families and influence their peers. Some are now professional cooks, food writers, and nutritionists. We offer opportunities for apprenticeships and internships.


Join the Root Camp Bursary Club Now.



[i] Health matters: obesity and the food environment, GOV.UK, March 2017

[ii] Islington Food Strategy, May 2012

[iii] 2016 World Hunger Education Service