The group Our Neighbourhood was set up in 2021 to deliver projects in support of the local community in Eastbourne. Alongside other activities, they run the “World Food Cookery Kitchen”, providing cookery sessions to asylum seekers and refugees in a friendly and supportive environment. The project is another brilliant example of how the grants given by the Foundation can have a huge impact on the community.
The World Food Cookery Kitchen
The sessions, attended on average by 15-20 people from 35 different countries, offer the participants the opportunity to integrate within the local community and enjoy a warm meal in good company. They cook together delicious dishes from around the world, learning to enjoy new flavours. They can request to cook some of their home favourites, too – an opportunity to taste again flavours from their home countries. Following a recipe written in simple English and using various cooking methods, the participants learn new cookery skills and receive tips about a healthy diet and safe food storage.
A warm, safe place
The community café offers a warm place where users can spend time alongside other individuals who are going through similar experiences. They also benefit from talking and sharing their feelings with other beneficiaries, volunteers and other members of the group. The sessions help them practise their English, too: working together on a shared task can help minimise any language barrier.
The charity also arranges special family cookery sessions throughout the year, and they recently celebrated together International Women’s Day with some Iranian food and dancing.
A Case Study from Our Neighbourhood
“One of our volunteers comes from Belarus. As she speaks good English, Ukrainian, Russian and Polish, she has been voluntarily helping Ukrainian refugees to settle in the UK. Since joining the World Food Community Kitchen as a volunteer and thanks to her good work, she is now in a part-time paid position with Our Neighbourhood, running a support hub for Ukrainians on a weekly basis. East Sussex County Council recently offered her a job as a part-time Migrant Support Worker.”