Weʼve raised £1,050 to kick-start Cook Together pilot sessions
- London Borough of Islington, London, UK
- Funded on Sunday, 30th September 2018
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‘Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.’ Mother Teresa
Many of you will know that through my experience of volunteering at Foodbank and several homelessness charities over the last few years, as well as living in Islington - one of the country’s most socially divided boroughs - I’ve become increasingly convicted by the loneliness and isolation felt by many who visit these charities. And in many cases, how a lack of family or community support contributes to the problems which result in them accessing such services. For some time, I’ve been considering what I might be able to do to change this in some small but hopefully meaningful way, in an area which I call home and am lucky enough to have many friends.
What I want to do is set up a small catering business called Yes We Canapé, creating party food with purpose - that purpose being to generate funds for a community project called ‘Cook Together’ - and eventually to offer employment to participants. The aim of Cook Together would be to provide an opportunity for local people experiencing loneliness to meet and make new friends; cook and eat together while being empowered to make healthy recipes tailored to low budgets. But more on that later.
In December 2017 a report by the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness declared that loneliness is a growing problem that currently affects around 9 million people in the UK and can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. In response, the Government has appointed the world’s first Minister for Loneliness, Tracey Crouch. Although her efforts are welcome and hopefully will slow, halt or even reverse the trend, experts in mental health and well-being believe that informal community activities are more likely to be effective than government initiatives. This is where Cook Together comes in. There are many brilliant cooking projects in London, but none which focus specifically on loneliness and enabling socially diverse friendships to flourish in Islington and King’s Cross.
The eight-week course will be followed up by termly community dinners for past and current participants. It is intended to foster an environment of friendship and safety, helping those who may not have anyone to rely on at all to build a network of local relationships while participating in a fun and useful activity. My intention is to hold three Cook Together workshops as an initial pilot this autumn. If they are a success, I can use the learnings to shape the course proper at the beginning of 2019.
In order to fund the pilot sessions, I am looking to provide canapes for 5-6 events over the summer, so if you’re planning a party, drop me an email on email@example.com for the menu. I’d love to hear from you!
If you don’t need canapés but would still like to support the project, I’d love you to consider donating via this page. As with any new business, there are start-up costs that I would very much appreciate help with. Your generous donations would contribute to one off costs such as purchasing equipment.
If you have any questions, or if you would like to volunteer - either at the Cook Together sessions, or with making and serving canapés - do get in touch. And if you, or anyone you know, need canapés, email me for the menu!
THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.
- 5 months ago
Joanna Davey5 months ago
I'm trying (unsuccessfully!) not to cry having just discovered that I've reached my target. Thank you all for your supreme generosity, your compassion for the local community and your astonishing belief in me. Special thanks to the wonderful anonymous donor who pushed us over the line with an extremely kind gift at the last minute. You've inspired me to find other campaigns which are just about to end and be their fund-finishing fairy. Just finalising a brilliant venue for our first three sessions, so things are happening. Watch this space!
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Sep 5, 2018
This is incredible, Jo.
Aug 31, 2018
So exciting, looking forward to hearing more about this!
Aug 30, 2018
Aug 28, 2018
The canapés for our garden party were absolutely delicious!! I will definitely do this again. What a genius idea.
Jul 2, 2018
So exciting Jo! xx
Jun 19, 2018
Jun 17, 2018
Inspiring idea and very excited to see this get started!
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About the fundraiser
London Borough of Islington, London, UK
Hi, I'm Jo and I'm trying to get some cash together to run three pilot 'Cook Together' sessions with local people experiencing social isolation and loneliness in King's Cross. I love cooking, my community and eating with friends. This project will involve all three!