Category Archives: Projects


Gratitude – Cooking Together for the Benefit of the Community 


Gratitude saves food from waste and use it to benefit people in need in the community, via social gatherings that are educational in terms of healthy life style and waste awareness.


Our main outlet is St. Theresa parish hall in Borehamwood, Hertsmere, where we run weekly community cooking and sharing. As an act of ‘giving back’ to the church who never charges us for the use of the hall, we have turned a neglected area in front of it into a sensory garden for the community. The garden opened on 23rd March, 2013, by Hertsmere Mayor, Cllr Martin Worster. The garden was put together from recycled materials and donations from local businesses and organizations and will be suitable for disabled users.

We also, cook with few local charities for adults with special needs such as Norwood and Mencap. Occasionally we run activities with scouts groups.

The food is saved from waste from local shops. Gratitude’s volunteers then help the service users in activities like peeling, chopping, and cooking – all skills that they are not usually trained in. Also the sense of cooking together means a lot to them, as they never take part in making a meal. When all done, we sit down together, serve each others and shares ideas, stories and any light conversation.

We all tidy everything together; washing dishes and packing any extra food in boxes to give away or take-away for friends. Gratitude volunteers then send everyone away with extra groceries that weren’t used in the meal preparation.

Our Team

Founder and Director – John Carlisle

Co-Founder and Community Development Officer – Sheila Carlisle

Treasurer and Admin – Debra Schiman

Significant Volunteers – Sasha Capocci, Irmine Johns, Lucy Tan, Enid Blair, Grace Brown, Cllr David, Barcombe, Kamlesh Patel, Gomati Dasi

Facebook: GratitudeUK108


Contact: / 0044 (0)7456 737767



Shine awards 2013 awarded to Gratitude Project coordinator Sheila Carlisle. Shine Awards are about celebrating and recognising residents who go that extra mile to make a positive difference where they live. The Shine Awards 2013 was held at the National Residents Council in Leeds on November 8th, 2013.

Sheila dedicates most of her day helping others, breaking the mould of service to the community. She is more than just a meals-on-wheels, as she grows food and takes donations, creating a diverse array of meals and then drives them around Borehamwood to individuals and groups in the community that are in need. Sheila welcomes people into her home to share in the food she makes and won’t let a visitor go home hungry or without a smile.

Little Pizza Effect-Food Fusion

Title: Little Pizza Effect – Food Fusion
Little Pizza Effect – Food Fusion is the youth exchange project, that will bring together youth from UK, Hungary and Slovenia and four accompanying group leaders, aimed to bring about individuals from different cultures to learn about unity in diversity through this project where the theme will be creativity in cooking and in life, culture, healthy eating habits and healthy lifestyles through non-formal learning and experience sharing.


Little Pizza Effect will last eight days which will involve seminars from motivational speakers every day, interactive activities and workshops (games, debates, quizzes etc.), through which participants can improve on their core skills and help with their personal development as well as doing voluntary work in the community to help improve the local area.

Why is the project named so? The phrase “Pizza Effect,” was coined in as late as 1970 by an anthropologist named Agehananda Bharati, and is used to describe a phenomenon that sometimes people lack of confidence in their own culture, but are eager to blindly accept all things new and foreign. Originally, pizza was looked down upon in Italy as the poor man’s food: it was just simple unleavened bread with a little tomato sauce for taste. Then, accompanying the early emigrants, it made its way to America, where it was garnished with cheese, olives, peppers, various meats, and so on, totally transforming the original into a kind of delicacy. Years later, when it made its triumphant return to the land of its origin, it became a highly respected dish on the menu of even the most eminent restaurants. The new product was eagerly accepted and even given pride of place in Italian cuisine.

The venue for the Little Pizza Effect – Food Fusion will be in Budapest, Hungary. The youth will learn about how they can come together to combat prejudices, exchange knowledge and learn from each other based on common interests. The theme of the youth exchange is how a simple thing as food intake,when being prepared consciously, can be used to unite one another and learn how we can be happy and healthy by addressing our true needs.

The aim of this project is to bring together youth from different cultures to educate them about the unity in diversity that exists today through common interests. This will be done through helping participants realize the common goals that we all have for example what we are looking for in life in happiness. Young people can be particularly inspired and reach their potentials if they have a focus for what they want and we want to help them achieve their potential.

The objectives of the project are:

1. To create an awareness and appreciation of different cultures. The Little Pizza Effect – Food Fusion is designed in such a way to help participants learn about the different cultures and the similarities that exist amongst different type of people.
2. Intercultural learning for participants about sustainable ways of living, especially in the long term. This is one of the reasons we chose the venue in Hungary, since the ethos of the centre is focussed on sustainable living.
3. To help youth realise their potential and open their minds to the great impact they can have on world and help them become active citizens and prepare them for European Citizenship.
4. To promote a healthy lifestyle through healthy eating as well daily practice of sports, yoga and meditation. Our daily schedule has also been designed with this in mind – where activities of such a nature are scheduled daily.

The long term effect will be about how the youth can give back to the community. After the exchange activities, all partner organisations will hold a public event in their respective countries where the results of project will be shown (photo and video diary of the project, presentations by leaders and participants on subjects learned at exchange, presentations of physical and character improvement of participants etc.). On this events local stakeholders (youth NGOs and other educational and youth-working organisations, local municipality) and media will be invited for purpose of further dissemination of the project.

The project presents an opportunity for the youth of three countries to learn about other cultures and languages as well how we can come together to serve as a community.


Recycle Yourself Project 2015

Project Summary

“Recycle yourself” is a project involving 25 youth workers from 5 partner organisations: Avadhuta (Croatia), The Lotus Trust (UK), Drustvo za duso (Slovenia), Nama Hatta Antwerpen (Belgium) and I.S.K.CON Firenze (Italy). All the organisations are active for many years in youth work, connected with areas of healthy lifestyles, education, ecology/self sustainability and social work. The partners expressed their mutual interest in creating a network based on strong partnerships aimed to connect more and exchange the good practices in relevant areas of their work.

Project Objectives

  1. Creating a platform for a European network of organisations active in the areas of youth work, healthy lifestyles and self-sustainability;
  2. Professionalisation and development of key competences and skills for youth workers (become more goal-oriented, get new experience at inter-cultural learning, develop practical ICT skills etc.);
  3. Improvement of managerial skills through exchange of good practices in their work, which will result in better quality and increased motivation of the staff for their activities in youth working area;
  4. Learning of innovative and improved ways of operating towards target groups, by providing more modern and attractive programs created at the meetings, for young people, volunteers and young NEET’s in line with their needs and expectations;
  5. Getting more experience and develop knowledge in area of EU/local project management and grant writing and in that way to find new financial resources for the projects (on local, regional and international level).

The project will last for 14 months, start on 1st of October 2014 and end on 1st of December 2015. It will involve 3 meetings/trainings of youth workers in Slovenia, Croatia and UK. The meetings will be based on different combinations of outdoor activities (organic gardening, field trips, cow milking, yoga), educational trainings (seminars, workshops on soft skills and innovative methods of youth work), learning opportunities of European instruments/certificates (Youthpass, Europass CV) and practical management education (fundraising for organisations on national and international level, grant writing, Erasmus+ opportunities presentations). During the partner meetings, photos and videos of activities will be taken and put into media forms which summarize the events and practical results attained. We will take photos and videos of educational activities, practical outdoor activities (ie planting the garden) and feedback from the youth from local communities who will attain the meetings. The conclusions of the meetings will be:

  • Slovenia, – preparatory event (soft skills development, outreach for youth),
  • Croatia, June 2015 – practical development event (European instruments, outdoor activities),
  • UK, September 2015 – summarization of the gained experience (fundraising, entrepreneurship ideas for youth).

Dissemination Event

This was public event held at the Bhaktivedanta Manor on November 30, 2015, to the Radlett community and larger congregation of the Bhaktivedanta Manor as well as internal departments of the organization. The goal of this event was to share the work this project has done, and inspire other organisations and individuals (specifically youth) to look at the Erasmus+ funding opportunities and see the project goals in a larger framework.

The long term effect of the project would be seen through the newly formed network of organisations where the youth workers will have more opportunities for professionalisation, skills and experience development and to improve the implementation of their learned experiences in local communities and outreach their target groups more effectively.

Throughout the public open day at our sister organisation the Bhaktivedanta Manor, the Lotus Trust invited interested persons to a 25 min presentation in our Cowshed offices (just above the cow stable) about the Recycle Yourself project and generally the Erasmus+ programme. We had a great turn out with over 50 people in attendance throughout the day. That along with the hands on elements such as oxen rides and other Recycle Yourself initiatives, the project dissemination was a great success!

Ahimsa Milk – Happy Healthy Cows

Happy Healthy Cows Rickshaw / Cycle Ride details here
Sign Our Ahimsa Milk Petition Here »

Ahimsa YouTube Videos Here
Ahimsa Campaign News Here
Cow Carnival Report Here

In contrast with most dairy farms, the cows at Bhaktivedanta Manor farm in Hertfordshire are NOT force-fed with high protein concentrate and pumped with hormonial drugs to produce more milk, and they do NOT suffer with unnatural and painful outsized udders or struggle to support their own artifically increased body weight. Nor are they killed when they are too old to produce milk. At Bhaktivedanta Manor farm the cows and their calves are free to roam as they please, and we call the milk they produce Ahimsa Milk! Continue reading Ahimsa Milk – Happy Healthy Cows

Karma to Climate Change

Change Your Karma : Change Our Climate

It’s time to sit up and see the icebergs melting and  the weather warnings. Our lifestyle actions are causing reactions, for example, a community of inhabitants living on an Island off the South Pacific have already lost their village to the rising sea level because of the current iceberg melt down.  Their simple living requires no need for electricity nor do they drive cars but they are suffering because of our energy driven lifestyles. Continue reading Karma to Climate Change

Kirtan Experience

Through the Kirtan Experience, The Lotus Trust’s primary objective is to facilitate students having an enlivening experiences of different cultures. By involving and engaging young people in workshops, discussions, seminars, interspersed with evenings of music – known as the Kirtan Experience, filled with dancing and singing – we aim to help students build a sets of skills that are relevant to their lives and equip them for their future personal and professional life. This year’s venue was a week of intercultural youth activity in Florence, Italy. Continue reading Kirtan Experience

Pizza Effect Project

“Pizza Effect” is a project coordinated by The Lotus Trust, an educational, relief and development organization in the UK. There are nine European countries involved: United Kingdom, Hungary, Slovenia, Germany, Croatia, Poland, Netherlands, Belgium and Italy. This project will unite adults around a common idea of healthy simple food, appreciation of one’s own and other’s culture, and active social integration into the European community. Continue reading Pizza Effect Project