By Victoria Bryceson, organiser of Vegan Events UK (www.veganeventsuk.co.uk) and founder of animal welfare charity, Miracle’s Mission (www.miraclesmission.org)

VFest UK 2021 - at Dinton Pastures Country Park

VFest UK 2021 - at Dinton Pastures Country Park

“It's very important to support vegan events post lockdown for a number of reasons. The first consideration is the fact the most of the stalls at vegan events are small family run businesses such as family skincare brand, iUVO and caterers, There’s No Catch, serving their popular vfish and chips. These businesses are often local to the area as well so by shopping at these events people are supporting these small local businesses.

Most of the stall holders have been unable to trade for long periods over the past year so are financially struggling. While the supermarkets have profited from the pandemic the local small businesses have suffered severe losses, so now more than ever, they need support to be able to keep going.

The more support these businesses can get the more they will be able to get through this hard time and continue to trade, therefore a larger variety of vegan products will be available. And this is important for our vegan markets for example, as we like to pride ourselves on offering new, innovative foods and other vegan products before they hit the shops.

The vegan events I organise are most often run in aid of volunteer led vegan charities so by supporting the events you are also supporting these charities. It was recently reported by the Civil Society that Charity retail income fell by 90% at the start of the pandemic[1]. And with so many charity shops unable to open because of the restrictions this is hardly surprising.

We had to cancel all our vegan events during lockdown and as a result have lost a great deal of revenue which goes to fund our animal welfare charity, Miracle’s Mission. This has then had a knock-on effect with regard to a critical appeal we’re currently running to build the UK’s first disabled animal rehabilitation centre which is set to save literally thousands of animal’s lives. So the more people who can attend our vegan events across the country, the more we’ll be able to re-coup our losses and the more animals we can help re-home and re-habilitate.

It’s also important to attend these events so that veganism can flourish and grow in the UK. Vegan events are a real lifeline as they provide a great deal of inspiration for many people to adopt a vegan lifestyle, which is of benefit to themselves, animals and the planet.

You will also be helping to re-build the community, socially. For example, our events like VFest UK 2021 which is a new vegan food and camping festival taking place this June, helps bring families and communities from many diverse cultures together, some of which will be experiencing veganism for the first time.

Attending post lockdown will keep these events going, because if there’s no support for these initial markets taking place after lockdown, it’ll be difficult to sustain them, as stallholders will lose confidence in booking because they’re not able to raise enough revenue due to the dwindling numbers of visitors.

Attending will also help give people new ideas for things to eat and cook, as during lockdown there wasn’t so much of a chance to get access to new recipes and foods.”

Reference [1] https://www.civilsociety.co.uk/news/charity-retail-income-made-swift-recovery-when-lockdown-lifted-benchmarks-report-finds.html

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