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Our fifth group of colleague volunteers have returned from volunteering in Malawi

Our fifth group of colleague volunteers have returned from volunteering in Malawi as part of our Malawi Farm Project.

Our colleagues Arian Mustafa and Paul Freestone from Abel and Cole, Sue Quibell from Aunt Bessie’s, Deborah Dyson and Jamie Luther from Jacksons, Matt Mann and Stephen Waller from Myfresh, Ellie Tharratt from The Ferguson Fawsitt Arms, and Paula Johnson from our group office, returned this week from their 10-day volunteering trip in the Ntcheu District of Malawi.

Also joining our colleagues in Malawi was Christopher Oughtred, the great great grandson of our founder William Jackson and also a former Chairman.

Our volunteers helped the farmers create an irrigation system, which involved building a well, planting trees and sowing seeds for tomatoes. They also learnt more about permaculture, had Chichewa language lessons to learn basic greetings and cultural lessons to make the most of their time out there, visited the local school and village, played football with the farmers and learnt Malawian dances.

Deborah Dyson, Marketing and Communications Manager at Jacksons said this about the experience:

“It’s been truly life changing. The people there are so happy, with so little and it is humbling. It isn’t just the people you meet in Malawi, but the valuable time you get to spend with colleagues and even the sense of freedom from having very limited access to WiFi, emails, signal etc.”

“If nothing else, the experience offers perspective. I have a newfound appreciation for life and more appreciation for being privileged enough to work for a company which supports brilliant projects like this.”

Our five-year Malawi Farm Project aims to help a local village of over 1,000 farmers in the Ntcheu District be self-sustainable and food-secure. It’s about more than simply writing a cheque which is why twice a year, in May and October, a group of our colleagues go to visit the project and get involved, taking with them bags of enthusiasm and knowledge to share.

Colleagues hard at work in the fields.

First stages of building the well.

Paul and Christopher peeling potatoes for the farmers’ lunch that Paul cooked.

Graduates developing their leadership skills with The Outward Bound Trust

Our 2017 grad scheme intake have been developing their teamwork and leadership skills alongside colleagues from across our group at The Outward Bound Trust’s Eskdale Centre.

Designed to develop leadership skills, the course saw the team mountain walking, rockclimbing and canoeing.

WJFG group office colleague Joe Gallagher, Aunt Bessie’s colleague Nathan Wilson, and MyFresh colleague Sarah Galvin also joined our grads for the course.

Aunt Bessie’s adds to potato range

Aunt Bessie’s is building on its popular frozen potato range with new Rosemary & Sea Salt Chips launching in Waitrose this week.

The new chips are made using Aunt Bessie’s classic straight cut chips, seasoned with rosemary, sea salt and olive oil.

Lorraine Rothwell, Marketing Director for William Jackson Food Group-owned Aunt Bessie’s, said: “We’re always looking to offer people something new to try and our research showed a real opportunity to develop our popular chips further, giving a traditional favourite a modern twist and enabling shoppers to enjoy restaurant trends in their own home.”

The Rosemary & Sea Salt Chips are made with olive oil, rosemary and sea salt and bake in 20-25 minutes. They are available in a 500g pack, MRRSP £1.99.

Jacksons’ welcomes cast of Hessle Theatre Company’s The Bakers Wife to learn some tips and tricks of the trade

Colleagues at our bakery recently welcomed cast members from The Baker’s Wife to get some bread-making tips ahead of the show’s run at Hull Truck Theatre.

Neal Edlin and Hannah Wilson, playing baker Aimable Castagnet and baker’s wife Genevieve, went on a full tour of the bakery and even had a go at making their own loaves. Cast members also had a lesson on culinary history from our bakers, who taught them about the traditional bread making methods of the 1930s, the era in which the musical is set.

Cast member, Hannah Wilson said: “I had a wonderful afternoon at Jacksons’. I now have so much respect for bakers – I couldn’t even roll a sausage shape out of dough! I’ve never seen so much bread in my life. It was so interesting to hear the story of a small business growing into a massive part of everyone’s lives. I will never look at a loaf of bread in the same way again…”

The Bakers Wife 2

Pictured: The Baker’s Wife cast members Neal Edlin and Hannah Wilson with our Development Bakers, Kevan Roberts and Katy Asquith

Victoria Kennedy, Marketing and Communications Manager at Jacksons
, said: “We’re really pleased to have hosted Hessle Theatre Company and shared with them the bread-making knowledge and passion that we have here at Jacksons’.”

The Baker’s Wife is hilarious and heart-warming musical comedy from the writers of Wicked and Fiddler on the Roof. It tells the tale of a village baker, whose life is left in tatters when the local heartthrob whisks his wife away. When the baker shuts up shop and hits the bottle, the bickering villagers hatch a crazy plan to reunite the couple so that the baker will begin to make bread again.

To celebrate Hull UK City of Culture 2017, award-winning Hessle Theatre Company return to Hull Truck Theatre from Tuesday 18 – Saturday 22 July to present the Yorkshire premiere of this gem of a show, following acclaimed productions of Little Shop of Horrors, Into the Woods and the sell-out Sister Act.