Lynne Dyer - Founder of the Street Food Project, Penzance


What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement was surviving my childhood.

What motivates you to do what you do?

I feel in these days of so much wealth its a crime that people experience hunger. If we don’t pay attention to climate change and farm our food sustainably, less waste, less greed using less oil we will be forcing more hunger on those around the world, creating more migration as well as creating more poverty at home which in turn creates even more hunger.

What do you owe your mother?

I owe my mother my birth, giving me life to experience this beautiful world we live in. I owe her my strength and determination and never giving up. I owe her my survival skills and how to pick yourself up and focus on your goals.

Which women inspire you and why?

Women who inspire me are Angela Davis, a courageous fighter for human rights who would not lie down and witness to so much atrocity. Wrote ‘Women, Race and Class’.

Vandana Shiva, for being brave enough to stand up to multi nationals after Bhopal about GM and the health risks of globalisation.

What are you reading?

I’m reading ‘Soil and Soul’ at the moment, and have just finished ‘Salt Path’.

What gender barriers have you had to hurdle?

I’m approaching 50 now but when I was a young women I was just seen as a body because I was a woman. I experienced so much sexual harassment on a daily occurrence to be able to break through that I had to kick against society and get angry. When I was 16 and I went to my careers advice session I was told in 1986 in Liverpool I could be one of two things: a secretary or a machinist in a factory. I ran away and became an activist instead.

How can the world be made a better place for women?

Let’s all support women to be the very best that they can be, and this doesn’t mean becoming a high flying lawyer, it means if a woman wants to stay at home and raise her children let’s support her to do that with a decent wage, if a woman at 50 wants to study philosophy let’s support her to do that. Let’s look at society as a whole rather than individuals and their economic value.

Describe your perfect day?

Waking up at sunrise and watching the sun come up wrapped in a blanket with my husband and daughter, listening to the birds wake up. Not having anything in particular to do, slopping around until lunch in our pyjamas then meeting up with a friend and having an epic walk in the countryside with muddy dogs and kids, sharing a flask of chai and ending up in a cosy pub with a fire surrounded by people you love and of course great food. Lying on a blanket and looking up at the stars.

We've noticed there really aren’t many (if any) statues of women around Cornwall - who would you see remembered?

I would like to see a statue to celebrate all Cornish women, every woman should be celebrated for all they do. We should all feel special.

Give us a tip?

My tip would be: buy local, buy it in your local shops and try to reduce plastic. Buy your veg in Thornes or The Granary in a paper bag and not plastic buy at the country Market or the farmers’ market.

Lynne Dyer was born in Liverpool in 1970. In 1986 she moved to London, Stoke Newington and became a squatter before starting to design flyers for Raves, founding a squatters’ food co-op, and running the kitchens in a Hackney pub. In 1990 she went on to study Fine Art foundation, and met her husband two years later. Her travelling organic veggie cafe ‘Tango’ became a Greenpeace flagship at festivals for the NO GMO campaign, and in 1995 Lynne moved from London to Cornwall, lived in a truck, picked flowers, painted, and ran the festival cafe through the summer months. After pursuing a degree in Photography in the Arts and suffering multiple miscarriages, she bought a derelict building and opened Yam Parlour in Penzance. She continued to lose pregnancies, and sold Yam and moved to Hastings to study nutrition whilst working for Primary Care Trust. In 2009 Lynne started working with the Refugee Community Council in Hastings on a kitchen and healthy eating project, worked with a community centre in their kitchens and with children’s centres for healthy eating, worked with lots of organic farmers in Hastings and the surrounding area to set up Vibrant Harvest Veg Box, and begun IVF treatment which led to the birth of her daughter. 6 weeks later they were back in Cornwall and Lynne started the Pram Parlour cafe for parents and children in local church hall. In 2014 she set up Growing Links with Dax Ansell, and two years later took a group of people to work in the Jungle in Calais for the refugee community kitchen. Since then, battling two heart attacks along the way, she’s taken charge of The Community Garden and PEaT Project, and started the Street Food Project in Penzance, and Famallot.

Growing Links

The P.E.a.T. Project

Street Food Project, Penzance