Community Kitchen Gets Financial Boost For Relaunch

Community Kitchen Gets Financial Boost For Relaunch

Sean Dyche and the Burnley FC first team squad have made a sizeable donation to help turbo-boost the reopening of the club’s Community Kitchen.

The vital hub, in Burnley town centre, has been focusing all its efforts on providing food parcels for the needy during the Covid pandemic that has dominated 2020.

Festive holiday plans at the Community Kitchen are now in full swing, including the provisions of food parcels and gifts to again help the most vulnerable over the festive period. Burnley schools have referred more than 200 families, with children at risk of experiencing holiday hunger, to the foodbank for support over the Christmas period.

However, as the new year looms, staff have now received a huge financial boost as they look to re-launch of the facility as a hub for training courses, support groups, cookery lessons and a whole host of other projects to help the community get back on its feet.

Sean Danaher, Burnley Community Kitchen and foodbank manager, said: “We thank Sean and the players for their amazing and generous donation, which will help us get back to helping those in need as early as possible.

“We’ve been blessed with donations throughout the pandemic from the public at large and we owe them a huge debt of thanks too, for helping to keep the foodbank topped up and helping those most in need through schemes like the free school meals initiative driven by Marcus Rashford and the sales of Jordan North Happy Place charity t-shirts.

“But we are conscious that the Community Kitchen is more than just a foodbank; it is a much-needed and badly missed drop-in centre to help Burnley get back on its feet after the global pandemic.

“We are fully aware that the pandemic has had a huge impact on mental health, loneliness, grief, unemployment and the local economy.

“I think we are all in agreement that we need to tackle the welfare issues and underlying reasons why families and people find themselves needing help from the foodbank, whether that be confidence building, upskilling, counselling, re-engaging themselves socially, volunteering or finding new work etc.

“We can bring all of our wonderful projects to this space when required to meet the demands as they come.”

The cash boost will help to re-open the foodbank in the shop format it operated in, pre-Covid. This affords foodbank users the dignity of shopping for their food, rather than being given a food parcel.

It will also allow the centre to open again as a social supermarket; bridging the gap between big brand supermarkets and food parcels and allowing those in need to shop for themselves with dignity while being able to receive nutrition and meal planning advice.

The café will look to re-open as a community venue, for groups, projects and members of the public, and similar to the generosity of the foodbank in providing around 2000 breakfasts to children every week, it will look to provide a ‘workers breakfast club’, built on the premise that many people who work in the town centre will be on low pay, zero-hour contracts etc.

Finally, the Kitchen academy will also reopen with the intention of working with young people and adults to provide a wide range of training and courses and use food and cooking as a method of developing life skills, and also employment skills.

Sean added: “We have these and many other plans in the pipeline and I think it is key that we are offering a safe space where people from all walks of life can meet new people, develop skills and try out new activities allowing them to build confidence and skills.”

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