One Pack One Planet – that’s the message for tonight’s fixture with Manchester United, with the club shining a light on their key commitments to environmental sustainability.
It’s a project which Wolves Foundation have become heavily involved in, and the proof in the pudding – almost literally – will be on show at this evening’s game.
And that’s because a range of produce grown at a local allotment by participants on the Foundation’s Head 4 Health project, under the guidance of Wolves head chef Luke Hitchins and the club’s catering partners Levy, will be part of the food served up to customers in hospitality.
The allotment in Heath Town has become a popular part of Head 4 Health, offering adults the chance to get together and grow their own food as part of the initiative which aims to improve mental health via workshops and physical activity.
“The main aim of Head 4 Health is to help people with their mental health, but, with the allotment, they are also involved in a project which has an end result,” says Luke.
“We have seen participants who might be a bit shy and quiet when they first come along to then really coming out of their shell and, within a few weeks, they are talking about their experiences and the issues they have faced.
“Coming to the allotment is a happy part of their day, and growing the fruit and vegetables gives them something really positive to aim for.
“We call it full circle, because they have come along to Head 4 Health with the Foundation but are now contributing back with the aim of getting this food into the stadium to be enjoyed by Wolves fans.
“And what we’ve also been able to do is plan our menus so we can use every single piece of the fruit and vegetables, which helps reduce wastage.”
The Head 4 Health allotment project, which contributed some potatoes for the hospitality menu for the home game with Brighton at the start of the season, is one of several ways in which the Foundation is aiming to contribute to One Pack One Planet.
Health and wellbeing manager Rachel Smith is also Sustainability Lead for the Foundation, including heading up a group of staff which looks at how the charity can be more sustainable both within their office space but also across different projects and initiatives.
Rachel also sits on Wolves’ One Pack One Planet steering group, alongside representatives from throughout the club, again sharing ideas for improvement, whilst all Foundation staff have undergone training from ‘Final Third’, a company focused on people-driven environmental stability in the sport and education sectors.
The Foundation’s Feed Our Pack campaign incorporated redistributing food and other items thanks to a link-up with HIS Church, whilst students from St Edmund’s Catholic Academy on the Premier League Inspires programme earned national recognition for an innovative project focused on recycling.
As their response to the challenge of ‘how to protect the planet’, the students came up with the concept of using plastic bottles and cups used on a matchday to turn them into training tops.
“It is all about looking at the issue of sustainability and seeing how best we can embed it across all the work that we do,” says Rachel.
“We have already seen some substantial progress across many different areas of the Foundation’s delivery, and the success of the allotment project has shown just how different strands of our work can come together to such positive effect.”