Streets to Kitchen

    Streets to Kitchen is a community project from Better Food working alongside Square Food Foundation and St Mungo’s. The project is a one year training course for eight people affected by homelessness.

    The course teaches cookery and food service skills to students who will gain a vocational qualification in food safety. The weekly sessions give clients confidence in and out of the kitchen and aim to develop vital life skills, improved wellbeing and be encouraged to cook for others, potentially in a professional capacity. The ultimate aim is to create a café in the St Mungo’s New Street Hub.

    Navlet Anderson was the first person to sign up to the course and she tells us in her words why she was inspired to seize this opportunity:

    “I lived for over twenty years in addiction following a difficult childhood. I had long periods of time where I was homeless. I was vulnerable and drugs made me feel better about myself.

    “Following a short stay in prison I found myself with nowhere to live when I was released. I was offered a place in a hostel. It was here my life began to change. Through sheer determination I stopped taking drugs. I am proud to say I did this by myself.

    “I was offered the volunteering role on reception at the Compass Centre. It opened my eyes, I was humbled by the amount of people who were homeless and I made it my mission to help people.

    “After a few months I moved to St Mungo’s New Street reception where I work with people who are further along in the recovery process. I love meeting people and working on reception but it’s the kitchen that inspires me. A hot meal and a smiling face goes a long way to make people feel better.

    “That’s why I am so excited about the Better Food project, Street To Kitchen. There have been times in my life when I didn’t know where my next meal was coming from, food is close to my heart and fuels the soul. I had to work hard to find security from within myself.

    “I can’t wait to learn new skills and use them to help transform New Street into a cafe. To see the kitchen up and running would make me very happy. When I retire I can look back and say I was part of something good, something that encourages people to choose the right path, to build their confidence and self-esteem so they can help themselves.”

    Donate to Streets to Kitchen

    Better Food needs to raise £10,000 to fund Streets to Kitchen in its first year. Funds raised go to Square Food Foundation, who in turn will use the money to run training at St Mungo’s Recovery College in Bristol.

    The project team is calling for corporate teams to join in the fundraising. This can be a cake sale, a fun run or evening ball – the opportunities are endless for you to help homeless people find new routes to recovery. Donate online here.

    Danni Rochman Community Officer
    0117 935 1725 ext 214
    Email: danni@betterfood.co.uk
    Lucy Gatward, Marketing Manager: lucy.gatward@betterfood.co.uk

    Out of London; Down to Paris

    Network Homes Team

    “It is fatal to look hungry. It makes people want to kick you” is a quote from George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London. You may not have wanted to kick someone for sleeping out but how many times have you walked by, getting on with your busy life, not caring to think about what the needs are of someone sleeping rough?

    I have never been in the position of not having a roof over my head or wanting to know when I will get my next meal. It is not something I want to experience and do not think others should have to experience it either. But they do. There is a housing crisis; people are not able to afford to buy or rent and there are increasing numbers of people sleeping rough as well as hidden homeless.

    ‘Supporting people through times to rebuild their lives’

    As someone who works for a company providing housing, Network Homes, I and 19 of my colleagues signed up to ride London to Paris to raise money for St Mungo’s. We believe in the value of services they provide to end homelessness and supporting people through some tough times to rebuild their lives.

    The Network Homes’ team is of mixed ability. When we decided to sign up for this in February 2017, some had not had the wind (or rain) in their faces since childhood! The thing that bonds us is the desire to get to Paris and raise as much as we can for St Mungo’s.

    Over £63,000 raised

    We have raised over £63,000 through donations and sponsorship. Our L2P jersey and bib shorts are adorned with logos from our sponsors, topped and tailed with our company branding.

    For me, as a regular cyclist, it has given me more of an excuse to get out during the long spring and summer days to get my training in. After riding Ride London 100 at the end of July, in the St Mungo’s colours, my training continued with an increase in the number long rides on consecutive days and now I am excited about setting off from Crystal Palace.

    On the 13 September it will be ‘au revoir London’ and 300 miles and four days later it will be ‘hello Paris’.

    James Dean
    Network Homes

    Why we fundraise for St Mungo’s

    I will put my hands up and say, I am not cycling to Paris. But what I am doing is supporting the fantastic team of 20 get from Crystal Palace to the Eiffel Tower and encouraging them every step of the way for the fantastic work and effort they have been putting into this momentous challenge.

    I have been championing fundraising at Network Homes since 2015, and since 2016 St Mungo’s has been our charitable cause. Chosen by staff, St Mungo’s and Network Homes share common values and passions for challenging the housing crisis and helping those in need. This cycle is the culmination of efforts from every single member of our staff. While only 20 will be cycling, our staff have attended tea parties, baked cakes and donated household items – and even played in football tournaments, all to help the St Mungo’s cause.

    I am immensely proud of our cyclists and of all the staff at Network Homes who have contributed to our fantastic achievement. It is a true story of how one good idea can become a tremendous force for change, and we hope that every single penny raised will help the homeless and generate real change in their lives.

    On to Paris!

    Rebecca Bicocchi
    Network Homes

     

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