Youth Board helps evaluate Kitchen Social

5th September 2017

Members of our Youth Board visited Kitchen Social holiday provision clubs over the summer to support with vital programme research and evaluation.

Kitchen Social aims to tackle holiday hunger by supporting local community organisations to develop a food and social development offer for children over the school holidays. AJ, Erica, TJ, Jhemar and Georgina, all aged 15 and 16, attended sessions at clubs all over the city to run focus groups as peer to peer facilitators.

The aim of this was for the Youth Board members to gain vital insight and feedback on the Kitchen Social programme from the children attending the clubs themselves. This feedback is a key component of an evaluation of the Kitchen Social programme that is currently being undertaken by Northumbria University. To prepare them for the focus groups, the Youth Board received facilitation and safeguarding training from the university.

Erica, aged 15 said: “I think the Kitchen Social programme is important because it brings people together. My favourite part of the research was during the youth club we visited. There was a big barbecue party going on and a lot of people in the community came. Children that may otherwise be stuck at home using their phones all day long have the opportunity to be outside taking part in activities and learning new skills.”

Emily Mann, PhD researcher, Northumbria University said: “All the young people were courteous to staff and children at the hubs, they engaged with the children and used the skills from the training session to actively listen to the children’s responses and ask follow up questions. The youth board members did really well to engage with the children and carry out focus groups amongst the bouncy castles, BBQs, hula hoop lessons and DJ!”

The Kitchen Social campaign aims to connect with 330 community organisations in the next 3 years.

If you’d like to get involved and support the programme, contact Patzi Shepperson on or tel: 020 7983 5593.

If you are a Holiday Club and want to sign up to Kitchen Social, contact Miguel Gonzalez on or tel: 07706 896741.