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Brixton People's Kitchen

by Be Enriched
Brixton People's Kitchen
Brixton People's Kitchen
Brixton People's Kitchen
Brixton People's Kitchen
Brixton People's Kitchen
Brixton People's Kitchen
Brixton People's Kitchen
Brixton People's Kitchen
Brixton People's Kitchen
Brixton People's Kitchen

Some of our team are working at home and some on site. Here is a blog from one of the team at home:

It is undoubtedly hard to get used to a new normal when life before seemed so sweet. Yet I am certain that, just as the two months have seemed to go by in two weeks, post-lockdown life will soon arrive and feel unremarkable again.

Lockdown has been emotionally taxing and most days my brain is in its own state of confinement. However, I am fortunate I can work from home and I know it. Overall, I have enjoyed working during lockdown. It has given my day structure and, seriously, without it I might have even been worse off. I have also been able to spend more time working for the organisation, as opposed to my two days in the office and the rest of the week in a chocolate shop. The only downside to this is that I went through my ‘everlasting’ chocolate supply in the first three weeks. Had it not been for lockdown maybe I could have sustained my sweet treats…

The more I have been working on the projects, the more I am struck by the injustice of all of this. Lockdown is undeniably a sanctuary for those who are in safely and comfortably tucked up at home, with a constant supply of food in the fridge and people to keep them company. My worries appear minimal.

But what about those who are not safe in their own homes? Who don’t have anyone to keep them company, or anything in their fridge? If I have found it this challenging with such an abundance around me, then how hard it must be for people who don’t have half of what I have.

I have been fine during lockdown. Life has been okay for me. Working during lockdown has even been fun. But a creeping unease has seeped through my body. Where is our empathy for those who are not okay?

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BPK's Newest barista
BPK's Newest barista

The cafe has now been running for the better part of the year.

We decided it was time to bring one of our partnerships core projects into the the cafe and have recently started the Kennington Canteen.

Like all the canteens it provides a hot meal for anyone particularly vulnerable and lonely people. We're able to use all the food from the week at our general cafe and share it with others - pretty good concept. It runs on Wednesdays from 6-8pm. We'll be fundraising for this in the new year as we hope to also have healthchecks and housing advice availiable, in the meantime it would be great if you'd donate a few bob here so we can run over the Decemeber.

Last week the menu was a simple pasta with roasted tomatoes and green beans with feta cheese - so simple but delicious. Our trick is to season the pasta with oil, salt and pepper, before adding the vegetables - makes a big difference.

Here's our newest Barista with the poster she made:

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With the unpredicable weather we have been having in the UK, which has affected the production of fresh produce from farms and therefore increasing the cost of food for everyday folks, it has been more important than ever to ensure we are providing healthy food at a reasonable cost. And especially for the kids missing their free school meals.

That's why this summer we've been providing a FREE LUNCH to all the children coming through the cafe and encouraging them to take part in a free sport activity. A lot of these kids are teenagers who normally wouldn't eat a vegetable and have an unhealthy staple diet of fried foods, but we're introducing new vegetables and ways of preparing food every day.

One group of girls told us that their mother "works nights and is too tired to cook for us in the day time [during holidays]" so they were really happy to have somewhere to come to eat. These are the realities of working parents and the struggle to feed kids in the holidays.

We hope during this time you'll consider making an additional donation to the project as we only have enough funding to feed the 30 young people attending for 2 more weeks. With an extra £3000 we can cover the rest of the holidays.

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Our lovely new cafe space
Our lovely new cafe space

It has been an exciting start to the year for Brixton People's Kitchen, as we have moved into our brand new cafe space in Vauxhall!

The new space is on the site of a community sports centre, The Black Prince Trust, and is a perfect location match for our friendly and relaxed ethos, where everyone is welcome. As partners of The Black Prince Trust we are now working alongside a number of fantastic youth projects which we are really excited to collaborate with. 

We have been busy spreading the word about the new cafe around the local area, and hosted a successful community day which encouraged local residents to come along and check it out. We are working on networking amongst local businesses and community initiatives, and are looking forward to developing collaborative relationships across the local area, in the hope that we can continue to fight food poverty and social isolation.

As well as being a lovely space for customers to sit and enjoy some delicious food and hot drinks, we are keen to open our cafe doors to the local residents to use for community events or workshops of all sorts, such as knitting, painting or fermenting!

Kemi in the sun at our community day!
Kemi in the sun at our community day!
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GoodGym giving us a hand
GoodGym giving us a hand

           Thanks for all the support over Christmas!

We were able to share the joys of the season with our regular guests, new volunteers and becasue we had so many presents, even another organisation.

Our Chief was named stylist woman of the week!

and then....

We partnered with a sports centre to bring healthy fresh affordable food into an estate in Vauxhall, London, in the form of a community cafe. Our vision to get more vegetables into teenagers is beginning to be realised!

With good, careful planning and community focused marketing plan we hope that this cafe will start to bring in a regular income, which will enable us to relax, and not be so reliant on grants and donations from kind people like yourselves.

We've been putting in extra hours cleaning, sanding and painting. Our friends at the Tate have donated a whole bunch of equipment, our trustees and directors have been getting dirty and then clean again, But it is hard work and it does cost us money -so we're trying to raise

                                                        £2000 for a coffee machine

this month. It will pay back its cost within 4 months and from then on it'll be good coffee and happy days for all our guests benifitting from the proceeds. Anyone feeling generous?

Here's some photos of us at work!

GoodGym giving the oven a scrub
GoodGym giving the oven a scrub
Happy days sanding boxes with GoodGym
Happy days sanding boxes with GoodGym

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Organization Information

Be Enriched

Location: London, England - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @be_enriched
Project Leader:
Kemi Akinola
London, England United Kingdom
$15,243 raised of $25,279 goal
 
192 donations
$10,036 to go
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