Vegan Festival Lewes returned to East Sussex College last week to give young people and the local community an insight into a vegan lifestyle.

The free festival, which was back for the second time at the college’s Lewes campus, was bigger and better than ever as it welcomed over 1,000 visitors to explore over 40 vegan businesses.

Setting up stall in the Cliffe building were organisations from across the UK including cosmetic companies, arts and crafts, and clothing manufacturers.

There was an abundance of delicious foods on offer too. There was a range of street food including tacos, miso soup, and wood-fired pizzas, as well as mouthwatering cakes from Vegan Sweet Tooth London and the double-cooked Belgian fries from BeFries in Brighton.

The festival ran from 10am - 7pm on Thursday 14th November and was set up and run by entrepreneur, and former ESC A-Level student, Robert Stevens.

Robert set up Sussex Vegan, the online directory for vegan businesses in Sussex, while studying at college and has been hosting vegan festivals to show off the range of vegan products and foods that are available.

Talking after the festival, Robert said, “It’s been a fantastic event. We’ve had lots of people come and visit from all over the county. They’ve been very complimentary about the festival and the fantastic community spirit in Lewes.

“We’ve had some brilliant speakers such as Katie Rood and Animal Sanctuary, who gave their perspectives on veganism. I'm really pleased with how it’s all gone and very grateful to my three main sponsors and the college for helping to make it all happen.”

Lewes Ladies Football Club midfielder, Katie Rood, took time out from training to visit and tell guests about her footballing journey and experience of becoming a vegan.

Katie said, “It’s been great telling people how veganism has shaped my view on the world and helped me to become a better athlete. I don't think I could have got to the levels that I have without being vegan. My recovery is faster and when you can do that, then you can push yourself and become better. I used to pick up injuries quite regularly, but since having a plant-based diet, injuries are few and far between.

“There is definitely a change in attitude towards going vegan, especially since The Game Changers documentary on Netflix. Everyone is hyped about it and now people realise that a change in diet can play a huge part in improving performance.”

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