YCC’s sustainability mission continues at Brian Jackson College

As part of Fresh Futures mission to become more sustainable, the Brian Jackson College’s have been making it one of their priorities to educate their colleagues and pupils of the importance of sustainability and the impact each person could make to the community they live in.

With only being weeks away from welcoming our pupils back into the colleges, we are looking back at what the Brian Jackson College Teams were up to just before the summer holidays! Food Technology Tutor, Matt Lumb, created some delicious home-made recipes and demonstrated to the pupils how easy it is to make nutritional food for themselves and their families with sustainable produce.

All the pupils joined in and created some wonderful dishes which were enjoyed by everyone. They have kindly shared their recipes with us so we can try them at home too! You can view the recipes by clicking on your favourite below:

Carrot and Coriander Soup

Tomato Soup

Quorn Mince and Ale Pie

The Brian Jackson College’s have also been placing recycling bins around their buildings for plastic, cans, paper and compost wastage meaning the amount of waste being sent from Fresh Futures to landfill is being drastically reduced.

Here at Fresh Futures we are so proud of the continued changes we are making across all our sites to become a more sustainable organisation.

We are currently looking for volunteers to support us with our ongoing sustainability plans and to join us in making a positive impact. If you are interested in becoming part of the team, please email: [email protected] or call: 01484 519 988

News update: Sustainability improvements continue at YCC

As part of Fresh Futures aim to continue making positive changes and improvements to our sustainability choices across our organisation, we wanted to share with you all what we have been up to since our last update!  


To help make recycling glass easier, Fresh Futures buildings now have ‘glass only’ recycling bins displayed around their premises for all users of the buildings to utilise. This means more glass will be recycled in the correct way, and will avoid being sent to landfill.

Did you know?

  • Glass is 100% recyclable and can be endlessly recycled with no loss of quality. That’s why it’s one of the most sustainable materials to use.
  • In Kirklees, glass cannot go into the ‘General Recycling’ council bin. This is because glass is recycled in a separate location.
  • If you put glass into your ‘general recycling’ bin in Kirklees, it will be redirected to landfill (along with all the other recycling it was combined with!) so please do not put glass in a general recycling bin. Instead, all glass should be taken to glass bottle banks which are located in various locations in your local area, including your local recycling centre.


Fresh Futures have recently been sharing and increasing their staff’s knowledge with information about how to recycle soft plastic items in the best way to avoid them being sent to landfill.

Soft plastic items include: Crisp packets, pasta bags, chocolate wrappers, salad bags, bread bags, fruit and vegetable packaging, and baby and pet food pouches.

Did you know?

  • Similar to glass, soft plastics can NOT go into the ‘General Recycling’ council bin. This is because they can get caught in the sorting machinery at recycling facilities and so can’t be processed with other plastics.
  • Soft plastics are generally defined as plastics that can be scrunched into a ball, unlike ‘rigid’ plastics such as bottles and tubs. Just like glass, soft plastics must be recycled separately. So please do not put soft-plastics in your general recycling bins.
  • All soft plastic recycling should be taken to soft plastic specific recycling bins, found in supermarkets such as Aldi and Co-op. From there, these plastics are turned into things such as bags for life and other recycled plastic items.
  • The easiest way to recycle soft plastics is to collect your (clean) soft plastics at home, and take them with you (along with your reusable shopping bags) every so often when you head to the supermarket.

Click here to find out more about YCC’s sustainability improvements and 2023 plans.

We are looking for a Sustainability Champion Volunteer!

An exciting volunteering opportunity has arisen for a creative and enthusiastic individual to work alongside our charity’s Leadership Team on our Sustainability Action Plan – making positive, sustainable changes within our organisation. For more information, please click HERE.

29th June 2023 is National Work From Home Day

National Work From Home Day offers a chance for us to recognise the technological and cultural evolutions that have changed our work culture and has allowed for many roles that were once considered ‘office based’ to now be carried out just as effectively from home as in the office. 

At YCC, we are proud to have perfected a positive hybrid working culture for our charity’s administrators, coordinators, officers, managers and beyond, who were once ‘office-based’ and have seen plenty of benefits stem from this. We were able to do this by listening to employees’ suggestions, and ensuring that our hardware and software was current and secure, to allow individuals to pick up work from home (and beyond!).

We believe that a positive hybrid working culture allows for more efficient use of time, boosts morale, reduces sick days and parental leave days, promotes well-being and has enhanced productivity, amongst many other things.

Of course, hybrid working means time in our Fresh Futures buildings too. And we also have many staff at the charity who don’t have the opportunity to work from home (such as our incredible cohort of alternative provision teachers and mentors, and building services team members). So, for the times when staff are on-site – we have also developed our working spaces to ensure they remain comfortable, secure, and pleasant. This includes work with our Employee Forum representatives, a recent office refurbishment, and a new staff room for down time.

Not only does our commitment to hybrid working show the trust we have in our employees, but it allows people to take charge of their own work loads and work environments, be flexible whenever they need to be, and facilitates a positive work-life balance.

And if that wasn’t enough… it also has great sustainability benefits! For instance, moving from 5 to 4 days in the office per week can reduce that individual’s carbon emissions (and travel costs!) by a significant 20% – and that’s just ONE day of home working!

So tomorrow (and every other day!) Fresh Futures will continue to support a hybrid working culture as much as possible.

Find out about job opportunities at YCC, at https://freshfutures.org.uk/work-with-us/

Meet the Fresh Futures Sustainability Forum

To help Fresh Futures achieve its 2023 20-point sustainability action plan, the charity has established a Sustainability Forum made up of Fresh Futures employees, volunteers, tenants, governors and service users. The forum will meet virtually three times per year to ensure the charity is on target to achieve the action plan, and to work together to deliver the best possible outcomes.

Currently, the forum is made up of the following individuals:

  • Christine Rhodes (Fresh Futures Employee – Community Connections)
  • Gill Goodswen (Fresh Futures Trustee & College Governor)
  • Jodie Kavanagh (Fresh Futures Employee – Thriving Kirklees)
  • Lucy Martin (Fresh Futures Employee – Volunteering)
  • Rob Edden (Fresh Futures Employee – Senior Leadership Team)
  • Samantha Cashman (Fresh Futures Employee – Children & Family Services)
  • Samantha Latchayya (Fresh Futures Employee – Sustainability Champion)
  • Stephen Halliday (Volunteer – YCC’s Garden Space & Befriender)
  • Susan Greenwood (Fresh Futures Tenant – Kirklees Youth Alliance)

The first 2023 forum meeting took place in January, with special guest Councillor Andrew Cooper, Green Party Kirklees Councillor for Newsome Ward.

You can learn more about YCC’s sustainability plans, HERE.

If you would like to get in touch about the charity’s sustainability, please email the Sustainability Champion: [email protected]

News Update: YCC’s Sustainability Progress

It’s unbelievable to think that it was only 7 months ago that we set out on our mission to become more sustainable – in such a small space of time we are proud to have achieved so much!!

Since the Sustainability pledges were made in August 2022, our charity has taken huge strides in our sustainability initiatives. We have dramatically reduced the amount of paper and ink that is used, fully enhanced our recycling procedures, adapted lighting across all of our buildings, created a sustainability forum, set up the cycle to work scheme, started shopping locally, created a sustainability eBook for EVERYONE to access, AND MUCH MORE!!

We’ve been keeping you up to date along the way, ensuring full transparency in everything we do. And since our last newsletter in January, we have done EVEN MORE! Here’s a glimpse…

1. Glass recycling (Phase 1): As we aren’t able to recycle glass using our recycling bins just yet, we have set up a system at Brian Jackson House to bring in glass to reception, who have arranged for them to be taken to a nearby bottle bank – avoiding them unnecessarily going to landfill.
2. International Book Swap Day: We took part in book swap day by promoting the benefits of book sharing rather than buying new. Plenty of staff and tenants brought in books and took home different ones, with lots of left-over books from the event going straight to our charity shop and a permanent book swap shelf now in place.
3. Recycling: Our recycling initiatives have been so successful that we have had to invest in bigger recycling bins! This is fantastic to see, and we’ve also done a lot of work on learning about what can and cannot be out into the recycling bin.
4. Local engagement: We’ve been spreading our learnings far and wide through our social media & website, to help everyone understand the massive benefits (health, financial, wellbeing….) of taking sustainable actions. With the cost-of-living crisis affecting all of us right now, one small sustainable step can go a very long way!
5. Save water! We’re in the process of assessing the water quality at all of our sites, so that we can start to remove some of the water coolers (made up of lots of plastic) and move towards using tap water and refillable bottles.

YCC’s Book Swap
YCC’s Sustainability Pledge
Recycling at YCC

What’s next?
We’ve got big plans and a big strategy so here’s what you can expect to see us doing over the next few weeks:
1. Soft plastic recycling – frustratingly we can’t put this into our recycling bins so we will be setting up a separate recycling process to make sure our soft plastics don’t go to landfill.
2. Plant swap! It’s Earth Day on 22nd April and we want to mark it by doing lots and lots of gardening, on our sites and at home! Keep an eye on our socials for updates coming soon!
3. Save more water! We’ll be completing our research on our water quality and making some small changes around the buildings.

A huge thank you to everyone who has made our progress possible, from volunteers transforming our outdoor space, to the sustainability forum engaging in important topics, employees embracing small changes such as reduced printing and bigger recycling. If you would like to participate in the Sustainability Forum, or get involved in any way, we would be delighted to hear from you – just get in touch!

Samantha Latchayya, Sustainability Champion [email protected]

Fresh Futures Looks Back at a Successful 2022

And that’s not all. Can you believe we also packed ALL of the below into 2022, too!

  • We supported Children’s Mental Health Week, created by Place2Be, through our Thriving Kirklees Team, providing free activity packs and wellbeing guides and more!
  • We got a BRAND NEW website
  • We started a gardening group for our service users with Young Onset Dementia
  • We launched our 3-year strategy
  • We were FINALISTS for the Covid Hero Award at the Yorkshire Choice Awards
  • We ran mental health programmes with the Works Better team at Kirklees Council for our Brian Jackson College pupils.
  • We worked with Our Creative Connection to create a photography exhibition created by our Hopeful Families participants
  • We trained ALL our Service Managers in an accredited Management Training & development PRogramme
  • We hosted Safety Rangers for Year-5 pupils from disadvantaged schools – THREE TIMES!
  • We ‘Walked for YCC‘ taking on TWO walking challenges (Up Castle Hill in Huddersfield and the National 3 Peaks), raising awareness and funds for the charity.
  • We said good bye and good luck to another cohort of Brian Jackson College pupils
  • We launched a 3-year sustainability Action Plan
  • We ran our first ever ALL STAFF team day to develop the charity’s ‘One Team; One Charity’ ethos
  • We held a huge THANK YOU event for our employees and their families in the summer, plus a festive party at Christmas
  • We hosted a fashion show at Brian Jackson House to raise important funds for our services
  • We supported Ukrainian refugees through various projects including a Ukrainian job fayre and Christmas party
  • We hosted Stay and Play sessions for families through Hopeful Families where children could play whilst their parents and carers received essential support from professional mentors.
  • We celebrated Eid and Diwali across our sites with our employees and tenants
  • We were awarded the Household Support Grant by TSL Kirklees
  • We completed a big refurb project at Brian Jackson College, Heckmondwike with a cohort of volunteers
  • We sold Fresh Futures christmas cards, designed by a pupil at Brian Jackson College
  • We presented ‘Speak Volumes – the importance of amplifying children’s voices in domestic abuse perpetrator programmes’ as part of the White Ribbon Campaign with EdShift.

News Update: YCC’s 2023 Sustainability Action Plan Announced

During the January 2023 Sustainability Forum meeting, the representatives agreed the following 20-step action plan which will be rolled out throughout this year, ending with a re-assessment of YCC’s carbon footprint, to determine if our actions have resulted in an improvement of our score.

You can also view the full presentation considered during the forum meeting, in PDF format below.

If you would like to join the forum, attend a one-off meeting, or simply make any sustainable comments and/or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact YCC’s Sustainability Champion, by emailing [email protected].

Fresh Futures Launches a 3-Year Sustainability Action Plan

This month, Fresh Futures are pleased to be announcing the launch of their new sustainability action plan, which will see the charity take on many environmental responsibilities to tackle climate change.

This is an incredibly important move for the charity, and will involve three significant stages.

  1. Fresh Futures Trustees have agreed YCC’s new Sustainability Policy – the first policy of its kind for the charity.
  2. Fresh Futures has established a Sustainability Forum which is made up of employees, trustees and volunteers, to help steer progress and hold the charity accountable for some needed changes.
  3. The agreed action plan – launched September 2022 – will focus on YCC’s ‘7 Pillars of Change’: Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, Replace, Reject, Educate and Engage.

YCC’s nominated Sustainability Champion, Samantha Latchayya, told us:

“This is a really exciting turning point for the charity. Not only are we going to make so big internal changes that will directly benefit the environment, but we will be able to encourage further sustainable development within our local communities that we work with, heling our service users understand the importance and the benefits of sustainability for their families and the generations to come.”

It’s full steam ahead for Fresh Futures and the Sustainability Forum who have already agreed the first steps on the agenda. This includes introducing the ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme, enhancing recycling facilities across their five buildings and reducing waste such as paper and water as much as possible across all of their departments.

If you would like to learn more, you can view YCC’s Sustainability Policy and Action Plan below, or register your interest to join the Sustainability Forum, by emailing the Sustainability Champion: [email protected].

#WeAreFresh Futures