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Kitchen Social works with local grass root community organisations to create an environment where children and young people can feel comfortable to play, make new friends, learn and get a good balanced FREE meal during the holidays. The programme is designed to be transferable to other locations, but for the purposes of this site, we are describing the London scenario.

Kitchen Social will appeal to a wide age range, however some hubs may choose to focus on specific groups. Indeed, we anticipate that the majority of the service will be used by children aged under 16 years old but the programme overall, will cater for young people up to the age of 18. Young people over the age of 18 will be encouraged to join as volunteers in exchange for the benefits of attending the hub.

The environment will be safe, and fun. It will not only ensure attendees receive a balance meal, but also offer young people the opportunity to get involved in preparation of food and learn life skills linked to shopping and budgeting that will help them outside of the hub. Young people will be encouraged to join in with physical and social activity which will maintain their level of fitness.

It is believed that the establishment of these spaces is a key step in reversing the three main growing trends seen over the last 30 years – holiday hunger, social isolation and children falling behind in their education.

BECOMING A KITCHEN SOCIAL HUB

We work with a wide range of community based organisations from adventure playgrounds, youth centres, libraries, churches and faith groups, community and leisure centres to name just a few.

The following list outlines the criteria each hub must adhere to, which will ensure the hub not only reflects the ethos of Kitchen Social but also meets the required quality assurance:

  • Be located in an area of high deprivation
  • Run an open access centre (free for children and young people to attend) or be charging minimal fee of up to £5 per day on condition that charge does not increase to cover food provision
  • Already be providing or have funds to provide wide range of physical and educational activities during holidays (minimum of one hour per day)
  • Provide at least 20 days free food provision over the year for minimum of 20 children and young people. 75% of meals must be hot cooked meals.
  • Ensure te food provision adheres as closely as possible to food based standards (training will be given)
  • Ensure safe, fun, stigma-free environment, where everyone is treated with respect
  • Agree that no child that asks for food will be turned away
  • Have all statutory policies around child safety and safeguarding in place and operational
  • Invite parents to participate and get involved
  • Provide a family setting for their meals

In addition, each hub will agree to:

  • Attend our training on project management, cooking and volunteer management
  • Complete and pass our Quality Assurance Mark
  • Proactively market Kitchen Social holiday provision
  • Proactively collect data for organisational, local and national evaluation
  • Use relevant evaluation to make continuous improvements to their Kitchen Social hub and to share good practice

If you are a community organisation interested in becoming a Kitchen Social hub, or would like more information, please contact Miguel Gonzalez on mgonzalez@mayorsfundforlondon.org.uk or call 020 7983 4254.

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