Bermondsey Community Kitchen
Our project is an ambitious and initiative grant funded training facility and we ready to begin training students in line with the academic school year in September and has everything it needs for the first year including, building premises, all kitchen equipment, trainer, volunteer base, project manager, board of trustees, minibus and market stall equipment.
However to sustain our community organisation for the long run, we want to purchase the lease on the café operating below the kitchen and turn it into a community café and support centre. This will allow our project to become a whole host of different activities that enhance community cohesion including advice and support, vegetable growing garden projects, intergenerational outreach programs, nutritional workshops and cooking demonstrations and a Friends of the Bermondsey Community Kitchen program. The profits from the café as its accounts show would more than sustain the kitchen without the need for further grant funding.
What we’ll do:
- Provide training to 32 young people with work experience, mentoring from local businesses & form routes into employment.
- Create a community café and support centre.
- Purchasing part ownership on the lease of the café downstairs.
- Work towards purchasing full ownership of the lease through a loan within the next year.
- Aid the regeneration of our local high street.
Why it’s a great idea:
Southwark has the highest obesity levels in England, if we can educate students and local residents so that they can prepare and cook healthy meals at an affordable price, this would then improve the general health and wellbeing in our area. Our project is taking place in an area which is currently undergoing regeneration through the local B.I.D. There is no other cookery training facility in the area, neither is there a community café or an evening restaurants on our high street. Our project has featured in local press several times. The catering industry is continually growing and a survey from Borough Market shows ample opportunities for work in the catering field within Bermondsey alone. Our community café will provide a relaxing space where residents can seek advice and support on a number of subjects. A number of significant funders have supported our project including but not limited to, Un-ltd, United St Saviours, Grosvenor Estates, Southwark Councils, Peabody Estates.
How we’ll get it done:
- Through our determined, passionate & committed board of trustees, all of which bring tones of experience to the table.
- Our chair Mike Donovan who has lived in Bermondsey his entire life wanted to give something back to his community.
- Creating a part ownership of the lease with the cafés current owners.
- Through ongoing support from our local community and other local community organisations.
- The café has already been established for over three years and accounts that show regular profit margins.
- Through crowd funding on Spacehive and a pledge from The Mayor of London’s High Street Fund.
Our project will offer a training facility and a community café with a friendly, accessible environment, serving healthy, tasty and affordable food with plans to open the café as an evening pop up restaurant, which would not only provide our students with work experience and additional profit for the kitchen but would also create further footfall and buzz around the blue high street as it would be the only evening restaurant there.