It’s time to think differently about food. 

The FoodSync Impact Challenge Fund (FICF) aims to positively change the way in which we produce and consume food by supporting an individual, organisation, or business with an outstanding idea or venture that promises to drive lasting change in the food system.

The winning idea or venture will receive funding to make their idea a reality, as well as mentorship and support from FoodSync for 12 months.

‘There is a lot of noise about the future of food; sustainable food systems, obesity, inequality and food waste. But there is not enough action. This is why we have launched the FICF to support an exceptional venture that will drive long-lasting change in the food system’
‘As consultants, we get a chance to solve problems and review what works and what doesn’t within the food system. As a social enterprise, we put our profit to good use. By combining our knowledge and experience with a grant we hope to spark change beyond what we can achieve as an organisation and help grow a community of change-makers.​’

Who are we?

FoodSync was established in 2016 to support purposeful placemaking. We use food-centric approaches to deliver meaningful and lasting change across a number of agendas, sectors, and industries. Our clients include local authorities, housing associations, health foundations, charities, businesses, and universities.
We work to future-proof the ways in which we produce, process, and consume food. We are concerned that the environmental, economic, social, and health outcomes of our current food system are not fit for purpose, and are committed to creating and driving positive change in these areas.
Follow @FoodSyncUK on Twitter to stay up-to-date with our work.

If your idea has the potential to

•  improve economic prosperity,
•  promote health and wellbeing,
•  reduce the environmental impact of the food system,
•  create wider social impact in Greater Manchester,

then we want to hear from you!


Applications for the FoodSync Impact Challenge Fund are currently closed. Thank you to those who applied.

If you would like to find out more about the FICF, please email
 The FICF steering group

John Denny 

John is currently the CEO of the Anthony Walker Foundation, an anti-racist organisation founded in response to the racially motivated murder of Anthony Walker. He is also the CEO and co-founder of the Hope Opportunity Trust, an education charity that works in communities labelled as disadvantaged to raise aspirations. They do this by working with students and their families to create the opportunity to attend schools that would normally be perceived as being beyond their reach or simply “not for us”. 

 As an independent consultant, John works with boards and senior management teams to facilitate the resolution of complex problems, delivered through the most efficient and cost-effective operating structures. John has also been a CEO in both international development and social housing sectors. 

 As a Director at FoodSync, John brings his experience of working across a number of different sectors to support the vision and mission of the organisation. 


Resma Patel 

Resma is an experienced and creative specialist bid-writer, with expertise in leading income generation initiatives through grant funding, tender writing, partnership development and collaborative working within the charitable sector. She has expertise in securing funding from charitable trusts, foundations, the National Lottery and Government funding streams. 

 Resma specialises in interventions for struggling small charities, supporting them with securing grant funding to achieve stability and growth and sustainability through income diversification and enterprise development. In this work, she takes full responsibility for the whole bid process, from research and development of a fundraising strategy, producing grant and tender applications, project oversight to ensure compliance, monitoring, evaluation, and end of grant reporting. 

 She is skilled in facilitating business planning, producing funding strategies, project management, grant administration, grant writing, fundraising training, coaching, and community development. Outside of work, Resma is also a Tai Chi and Chi Kung practitioner and teacher. 


Mike Hardman 

Mike is an interdisciplinary academic who has been involved in over 47 projects as both a PI and CO-I. He is currently Senior Lecturer in Urban Geography at the University of Salford, and leads the undergraduate programmes in the Geography, Environmental Management, and Archaeology divisions. He is also the lead for the research hub on Care and Urban Farming at Salford.  

Mike’s work is impact driven and applied in nature, resulting in policy/behaviour change, environmental improvements, and other impacts. For example, Mike has been leading a team on Northern Roots, the UK’s largest urban farm and eco-park, since 2017. He is widely published and an active global speaker on topics ranging from guerrilla gardening to urban food growing, radical green infrastructure, sustainable transport, and other areas. Alongside his academic roles, Mike holds several non-academic positions with organisations, including as an ambassador for Social Farms & Gardens, and an advisor for Food Sync, and as a member of a number of other similar organisations. 


Alison Gray 

Alison’s background is in governance, risk and compliance, and she is experienced in supporting senior stakeholders at Board and Executive level. Used to operating in highly regulated industries such as financial services and social housing, Alison has worked across both private and public sectors. She believes in the importance of interrogating, presenting, and communicating risk and compliance data successfully. When combined with effective governance arrangements, Alison understands how those structures support and enable organisations to achieve their mission and aims, and should not be an end in themselves.  

 In a mid-life career break, Alison also owned and operated her own food and drinks business before selling it in 2018. Managing all aspects of the business, from hiring and training staff to building a strong social media profile and hosting events, Alison understands the highs and lows of establishing and building a small business. Alison has also previously worked for FoodSync providing business and project support; an experience which provided an insight into the role of the food system, particularly across Greater Manchester. 


Barbara Bray MBE 

Barbara Bray is a Registered nutritionist and food safety consultant with​ over 20 years’ experience working in the agri-food sector in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, and in Africa. In her role as a Technical Manager with Bakkavor, an international chilled foods food manufacturer, Barbara led on food safety and nutrition compliance.  

In 2017, Barbara was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship, and her project focused on ‘Vegetable Production For Specific Nutritional Need’. As part of this work, she reviewed biofortification initiatives and food policies in countries including China, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. Her findings have inspired her to create solutions to encourage different parts of the food chain to collaborate and communicate more effectively with each other. 

Barbara regularly chairs meetings on nutrition and speaks at events on the subject of food production and nutrition, and in 2019 she was awarded an MBE in the 2019 Birthday Honours list for ‘Services to Food Nutrition’. 


Dr Vicci Owen Smith 

Vicci has a wealth of experience in public health following a career in general practice. Her career has included roles as a Deputy Director for Public Health and as a Clinical Director for Stockport Clinical Commissioning Group. She worked across Stockport to improve access to preventative services, increase early detection, boost patient independence, and improve mental well being. Vicci was also a Tutor for ‘The People’s Open Access Educational Initiative (Peoples-uni)’, which aimed to help with Public Health capacity building in low- to middle-income countries, through Internet based education. Vicci has largely retired from public health roles but has recently supported PHE London and the DHSC around  Covid-19 Testing. She is an active member of a local voluntary group responding to the climate emergency, leading on recycling, setting up a repair café, promoting zero waste local shopping, sustainable eating and reducing food waste.  


Andy Young 

Andy is a food sustainability expert turned solution provider. He works with sustainability leaders in the food industry to accelerate their plans by bringing clarity and the tools to deliver impact. For 15 years, he’s worked with small and large food businesses, across retail and manufacturing, to embed large-scale sustainability transformation, deliver tangible impact, and enhance profitability. He works to help as many food businesses as possible contribute towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns) by making their products and operations more sustainable. Andy is Managing Director of ‘Achieve Goal 12’, a professional services consultancy that makes products and processes more sustainable. He offers specialist expertise across numerous sustainable production areas, including reducing food waste, promoting circular economies, sourcing raw materials responsibly, and tackling climate change.  

His expertise includes: strategy development; sustainable business; policy implementation; mandatory or voluntary reporting; and project management. 


Haleh Moravej 

Haleh Moravej is an Advance HE National Teaching Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences at Manchester Metropolitan University. Prior to teaching, Haleh was a commercial entrepreneur with her own nutrition clinic. As a social entrepreneur, she brings innovation, exploration and sustainability to everything she does. This approach is best exemplified in her award-winning MetMUnch (,  a student-led programme that sets the standard for sustainability, nutrition, and entrepreneurship across Manchester Metropolitan, local communities, and further afield.  

In recognition of Haleh’s excellence in outstanding teaching for entrepreneurship, sustainability, and employability, she has been nominated and won several awards. These include: MMU Union Best Teacher of the Year 2012; National and International EAUC Green Gown Award Winners in Student Engagement 2014 for MetMUnch; UnLtd/ HEFCE SEE Changemakers: Social Enterprise Outstanding Achievement Award 2017, IOEE (Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship) as the Intrapreneur of the year 2018 and most recently as one of the top 100 Women in Social Enterprise by Pioneering Post/NatWest 2020 and as the Team leader for Advance HE Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellent 2020. 


Lindsay McAllister 

Lindsay is the co-founder of FoodSync, having worked in Greater Manchester as a CEO in housing and regeneration for over 35 years. He has an ability to identify innovative solutions and new approaches to business delivery, together with an in-depth understanding of political and social contexts. The relationships and networks he has established have been a key element in anchoring FoodSync as a successful consultancy and maximising our social impact. 

Lindsay’s experience in enabling teams to work together to achieve shared goals is invaluable, as is his track record in terms of delivering measurable community and social benefit. He has an ability to bring out the best in people, encouraging and enabling them to develop new skills and aptitudes in commercially challenging environments. 

 For the steering committee, Lindsay’s focus will be on skills development, coaching, mentoring and extending the social application of the Impact Fund. 

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