Think Local: Getting Involved

Think Local: Getting Involved

August 25, 2020 4:57 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Locally Sourced Food

With supermarkets making accessibility ever easier, we tend to ignore where a lot of the produce originates from. Surprisingly enough, the source of a lot of food stocked in U.K. supermarkets is from outside the country. This increases carbon footprint and affects our local producers trying to compete. Fortunately, Southampton is still home to a few independent markets that provide locally, and sustainability sourced options. It is worth checking them out as they could be close to you! 

Here are some local butchers and greengrocers: 

Southampton Butchers, SO14 3FE : https://southampton-butchers.co.uk/

Kemptons of Bitterne, SO18 5RR: https://www.facebook.com/KemptonsButchers/

Uptons of Bassett, SO16 7DJ: http://www.uptonsbutchers.co.uk/

Roebridge Farm Shop, SO17 2NF: https://roebridgefoods.co.uk/

Jim Rolf, 46 Shirley High St, Shirley, Southampton SO15 3NF. Tel No. 023 8077 2335

A&T Cooper, SO31 7GG: https://atcooper.co.uk/ 

Independent Restaurants

All of us are partial to a Nando’s or Wagamama’s now and then, and the convenience of having so many options altogether at West Quay makes dining a stressless process. However, you risk missing out on some of the independent dining options that Southampton has to offer. Here are a couple of favourites among the JCI team:

Mango Thai Tapas: Ocean Village, Portswood, & Above Bar

 With three locations across the city, Mango is really a highlight for any Thai food lovers. Menu: https://www.mangothai.co.uk/

Café Thrive: City Centre

 A creative all-vegan menu. If you’re looking for something light and different, we recommend trying it out! Menu: https://www.cafethrive.co.uk/Content/files/menus/Thrive%20Menu%20Autumn.pdf

 Dhaba 59: Oxford Street

 Indian street cuisine at it’s finest, if you’re looking for a hidden gem in the city, this place is where to go! An extensive menu that includes vegetarian and gluten-free options; https://www.dhaba59.bluedawnstudios.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Dhaba59-Food-Menu.pdf

 Blue Island: Above Bar

 An authentic Greek restaurant in the city centre, offering great food and atmosphere.  

 Menu: http://blue-island-restaurant.co.uk/menus.html

Litter Picking

We are sure that many of us know this scenario: you are enjoying a nice walk to only be encountered by a large lump of discarded wrappers and bottles scattered on the grass. Or you notice a few cans chucked in a roadside bush from passing cars. It is an upsetting reality of most cities, no matter how many public bins are provided. 

In Southampton, we also have the nearby beaches to keep in mind where various bits of rubbish from fishing lines to flip flops getting washed up daily. An easy and effective way to get involved is to start litter picking. 

It can be daunting to venture out and start by yourself, but you can arrange a group to accompany you, or you can do it while doing some other exercise. This turns litter picking from an awkward job to a social event that also benefits your local area. 

Joining a Mutual Aid Group & Supporting Vulnerable or Isolated People

There is no doubt that the pandemic has caused uncertainty and instability for many of us and in times like these local community is ever more crucial. A ‘mutual aid group’ is run by volunteers who wish to aid the local community and receive it back. Southampton has its group and website where you can reach out to receive support or help assist: https://www.sotonmutualaid.uk/

You may know a neighbour that is under strict isolation or a friend struggling to do their weekly shop. If this is the case, it is a perfect time to extend a helping hand and assist in any way you can (if it is safe for you to do so.)

The NHS offers a ‘Volunteer Responders’ program where you can register to assist people with their food shopping, transport to medical appointments, or through regular phone calls.

To sign up visit here: https://nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/

Online Classes

It is safe to say that 2020 has been the year of self-reflection. Being stuck at home has encouraged people to re-evaluate what they want and how they can go about achieving it, resulting in an interest in online courses.

Many of these are currently on a promotionally low price or even free and can stop you from being bored and add to your C.V… However, they do not need to be work-related; you can sign up for a painting course or even learn how to crochet through YouTube tutorials. We are living in an age of technology, and there are no limits to what you can learn during this time.

Independent Stores

One of the hidden gems of every city is its independent scene. The shops that shy behind West Quay are taken for granted but provide a unique experience. We encourage you to make the most of Southampton’s independent scene by visiting and supporting where you can. There is a range of stores to choose, here is a list of some of our favourites: 

Beatnik Emporium, SO14 7DW

 A popular vintage store selling clothes & accessories for both men and women. Perfect for when you are looking for a bargain piece or something one-of-a-kind. Vintage and second-hand clothing stores are not only good for your wallet but are better for the environment too.

Vinilo Record Store, SO14 3BL

 Standing proudly as one of the only independent records stores in Southampton. If you’re a music lover and looking for vinyl and live show updates, visit here.

Robin’s Nest Emporium, SO16 4LL

 If you are looking for quirky trinkets and vintage furniture, this place is full to the brim! 

October Books, SO17 2NF

 Independent books stores are a dying breed, but October Books proves itself to be the heart of the community with its events and special offers. Pay a visit to the new and improved store on Portswood Road.

Food Banks 

Food Banks are a necessity for many in the city and are especially in demand during the pandemic. Southampton has a couple scattered around the city, and they are always asking for any volunteers that can assist. You can donate food and clothing or volunteer on the distribution days. Here are some links to the places that offer this service: 

Above Bar Church: https://abovebarchurch.org.uk/coronavirus#loving-our-city

Scratch: https://www.scratchcharity.co.uk/

Southampton City Mission: https://southamptoncitymission.co.uk/

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This post was written by Zoe Toseland

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