Cooks away!

Opening of the Community Kitchen

From left: Luke Hayman (Cheesmur Building Contractors), Jess Crocker (Food Partnership), Vic Borrill (Food Partnership) Ben Coombs (MacConvilles), Calum Munro (Peoples Postcode Lottery) and Olivia Canham (Community Base).

The cutting of a string of garlic marked the Grand Opening of our new Community Kitchen – a fabulous central space in the city where we’re looking forward to inspiring local people to cook for health, fun and friendship. It also marked the end of a long journey for the Food Partnership – and the start of a new one.

The Partnership has many years’ experience using food to create positive change in people’s lives via its cookery classes, but until now we have run our classes from community centres, churches and any other semi-suitable space we have found around the city.

Food Partnership Vic Borrill said: “After a decade dreaming of a central space tailored to our needs, this is like a dream come true. In this Kitchen our cookery class leaders will have a fully accessible, purpose-built space and all the equipment they need so we can improve and expand our offering, enabling many more people in Brighton and Hove to learn about food, share food and, above all, to enjoy food.”

She added: “We know the transformative power that good food can have and we look forward to a healthier, happier city thanks to the Community Kitchen – and the very many people who helped it happen.”

Vic cut the garlic ‘ribbon’ heralding the new era for the Food Partnership together with Calum Munro, People’s Postcode Lottery Senior Community Programmes Officer. The Kitchen has been made possible thanks to funding from the Veolia Environmental Trust, Rampion Fund and the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, with support from the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, which funded the conversion of former office space in the Community Base building in Queens Road, Brighton.

At the ceremony, Calum Munro handed over a giant cheque for £100,000.  Calum said: “I’m delighted to be able to kickstart festivities to celebrate the opening of Brighton & Hove Community Kitchen. It’s great to see the culmination of everyone’s hard work to get the project off the ground and I’m thrilled that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting it.”

two women cookingA further £27,305 to kit out the state-of -the art, fully accessible teaching kitchen was raised through crowdfunding. And throughout, an amazing team of talented local firms supported the build: MacConvilles Surveying, Crofton Design, Gyoury Self Partnership, Cheesmur, Brewers, UrbnRok and Claire Potter Design.

The Kitchen will operate as a social enterprise, offering competitively priced cookery courses from local chefs and food experts at the same time as providing subsidised courses, including Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food Programme. The programme of cookery classes start in June.

Mandie Turner from Jamie’s Ministry of Food said: We are delighted that, thanks to our partnership with the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership and funding from People’s Postcode Lottery, we will be able to teach many more people how to cook from scratch. Our practical cookery classes aim to make a positive, lasting impact on the nation’s health, by sharing the joy of good food! Our evaluation shows that the programme has significant positive effects on dietary behaviour, food choice and cooking confidence. A massive thank you to all People’s Postcode Lottery players, for making this possible.”


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