To celebrate Vegetarian Week 2023, charity Vegetarian for Life launches a new grant for care settings with a focus on quality of life

Chair of the Vegetarian for Life board, Dr Barbara Sharp, explains more.

Vegetarian for Life (VfL) is the UK care charity working exclusively for older vegans and vegetarians. 

Aim of the new Vegetarian for Life Care Award for Care Settings

While the charity already recognises excellence in care catering, this new scheme has a different focus. 

The new grant looks to support care initiatives that improve life for older people in a way that recognises specifically the importance to them of being vegan/vegetarian. 

Being vegan or vegetarian is much more than a dietary choice – it is often core to an older person’s ethical, spiritual and philosophical beliefs. Many things across a person’s lifespan will have influenced such personal choices and practices. These decisions are an important aspect of personal identity and integral to a good quality of life when you are vegan/vegetarian.

Who can apply and when?

Applications must be from a care setting that provides support to one or more older people who are vegan/vegetarian. Applications can be submitted by anyone working or volunteering within the care setting and are also welcomed from others who provide ongoing support, such as family and friends. 

We would especially welcome applications that demonstrate engagement between the older person(s), care staff, families and/or the wider community. Proposals may focus on the life of one older person or a group.

Grants will be awarded on a rolling programme to applicants judged to have submitted the best proposals to enhance the lives of older vegans/vegetarians. The call for applications and submission dates will be advertised across care sector networks, social media and detailed on the Vegetarian for Life website. 

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Criteria 

VfL is keen to encourage creativity, so provides only essential criteria and some broad indicators to assist your application:

  • The proposal must be clear about how it will enhance the life of the older person(s) in relation to them being vegan/vegetarian.
  • Details are given of how the beneficiaries of the proposal have been involved in preparing the application.
  • Details are set out of how the award is to be spent, itemising costs as accurately as possible.
  • The manager (if not the applicant) of the care setting should counter-sign the application or email VfL (info@vegetarianforlife.org.uk) to clarify their approval and support for the initiative, and acceptance of associated conditions.
  • The proposed initiative needs to be completed or substantially progressed within 1 year (max) of the award being made.
  • At the end of the funding period (i.e., 1 year), successful applicants will supply a short article of approx. 500 words for publication by Vegetarian for Life. The article should describe how the initiative has been brought to fruition and the impact on the lives of older vegans and vegetarians and, if appropriate, others residing/using your service. Vegetarian for Life can support you in preparing your article if needed.
  • You can submit only one application per call for submissions, but you can apply again on future dates. This may encourage you to consider small scale achievable initiatives without undermining any future opportunities – small changes can make a big difference!

Here is some further guidance which may help you complete your application:

  • Consider ideas beyond the ‘food on the plate’. Older vegans and vegetarians are likely to be interested in related concerns, such as animal welfare and rights, the environment, food quality, production, and sustainability. Can these connections be enhanced? 
  • Consider the experience around eating and the value of connecting with other like-minded individuals. Can you enhance this aspect of a person’s life?
  • It can be useful to consider the role veganism/vegetarianism plays in a person’s life – can this aspect of personal identity be enhanced or supported better? 
  • Does your initiative have additional benefits to staff and volunteers in terms of their understanding of what is important to the older people they support, their practice and professional development? 

Submitting your proposal

Please use only the VfL form specific to this grant award and return to the address provided.

What happens next?

Each application will be judged on its individual merit by the Trustees of VfL, whose decision is final.

You will be notified of the outcome via email, within 4 weeks of the completed application being submitted.

For further information:

Email: info@vegetarianforlife.org.uk or call 0161 257 0887.

You can read more about the award by visiting VfL’s website: Vegetarian for Life.