Lunch is served! Sands End Community Kitchen dishes up a feast

Tasty sausage and mash was on the menu for the launch of the new Sands End luncheon club last week. And it went down a treat with the local guests.

The luncheon club is the first new project to kick off at the Sands End Community Kitchen. The local community, led by SEAPIA (Sands End Associated Projects in Action), ran a successful crowdfunding campaign on the H&F Hive to raise money for the new kitchen.

The council set up the H&F Hive to help local people turn their great ideas into reality.

The kitchen was officially opened recently by Cllr Ben Coleman, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care at H&F Council.

“Cooking and sharing food is a wonderful way to bring people together,” said Cllr Coleman. “It was great to have the guests at the luncheon club chatting, laughing, getting to know each other and having a good time over a hearty meal.”

The luncheon club guests tucked into a tasty meal of sausage and mash with homemade caramelised onion gravy, followed by New York cheesecake and fruits-of-the-forest compote, all cooked up in the new kitchen by local volunteers.

Julie Cavanagh, manager at SEAPIA, serves lunch to guests at the Sands End Community Kitchen

Julie Cavanagh, manager at SEAPIA, is the driving force behind the community kitchen and the luncheon club. SEAPIA runs after school clubs and holiday clubs for local children and young people, but Julie and the team were keen to open the doors to the whole community.

“Our fundraising campaign for the kitchen really inspired people to get involved,” said Julie. “Not only were local people incredibly generous in donating to our project, but we’ve also met new volunteers and supporters who can help us to put our ideas around the kitchen into practice. We’re delighted to get the luncheon club off to a flying start!”

The team were able to make the lunch guests feel extra special with new crockery, glasses, tablecloths, cutlery and a coffee machine, thanks to a generous donation from United in Hammersmith & Fulham.

“Our guests had such a good time,” said Julie. “They’re already asking when the next lunch is happening!”

Healthy eating

SEAPIA has linked up with City Harvest, a local charity which collects and redistributes surplus fresh food, so Julie can guarantee that there will be fresh, healthy food at the lunches – food that would otherwise go to waste.

And the healthy eating doesn’t stop there – local children and SEAPIA volunteers have also created a community garden for growing vegetables, fruit and herbs, ensuring a supply of fresh produce for the new kitchen.

Do you have a community project idea?

If you’ve got a great idea and have been inspired by the Sands End community kitchen and luncheon club, why not launch your own fundraising project on the H&F Hive? In addition to raising money from friends and neighbours, projects can pitch for a share of £200,000* which H&F Council has made available to support great initiatives.

For more details visit the H&F Hive.

*Most of the council funding for H&F Hive comes from contributions from developers, through the national Community Infrastructure Levy, which is designed to ensure the benefits of development projects are shared by local communities.

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