Anne Thwaites - Founder of Food Pioneers


In the complex, busy and often unpredictable world of today children need to be given the opportunities to experience changing landscapes and realities. With an appropriate set of tools and gentle guidance they will soon find themselves empowered to navigate through, negotiate and find solutions to obstacles as much as feel inspired by the unexpected. ThoughtBox provides exactly these tools and the guidance to enable children to develop those skills, which are essential to the work we do in our communities.

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"My story starts with me moving to England from Germany about ten years ago. I have a background in international economics and marketing working for publishing groups in both countries, and have managed media campaigns across Europe and the US launching a wide variety of board games, arts & craft kits, children’s books and – yes – jigsaw  puzzles.

My greatest love, however, is the sea. In 2012 I set up “Catchbox” in my hometown Worthing, a fish box scheme in support of small scale fishing fleets which gives members the opportunity to try out local seasonal catch on a weekly basis. This volunteer run scheme distributed over a ton of fresh fish to more than a hundred members over the course of four years.

After also running the first “Farmdrop” food hub in the UK to support small scale producers and starting to cook food for people in need, I set up my own social enterprise We Are FoodPioneers CIC in 2015. Together with my co-directors and a team of volunteers, FoodPioneers have run a number of pop-up cookery events on the beach and in the town. The enterprise also works with people with additional needs, intergenerational groups and sheltered housing residents cooking and sharing meals with ingredients grown by its partner Breathing Spaces CIC and their care home service users.

In 2016 FoodPioneers were successful in securing nearly £100,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to run “The Last Fisherman Standing”, a two-year project which celebrates and protects Worthing’s rich fishing heritage. With monthly fish cookery classes, beach fish BBQs, a pop-up fish market and more, I can now mostly be found by the sea introducing the latest seasonal catch to my guests and catching up with the last fisherman on Worthing beach… When I’m not near water I am is busy working for Sussex Wildlife Trust as a corporate & community fundraiser.

This year FoodPioneers is embarking on an EU funded innovation accelerator programme to grow its activities in Worthing and beyond, with more exciting seaside and foodie projects on the horizon.