There's nothing like a pandemic to disrupt plans, and many of us were left wondering what we might do for six weeks of summer holidays with so many ‘normal’ activities having to be shelved, but thanks to a collaboration between Gloucester based community organisations, local councillors, Gloucester City Council and Gloucestershire Gateway Trust, summer 2020 wasn’t completely cancelled.
"Parents and carers have told us that it has been great to have a reason to get out of the house and enjoy the company of others whilst picking up free resources to help relieve boredom. We have also been able to offer a variety of additional activities alongside the holiday kitchen project including socially distanced drama sessions, free books, creative workshops and sports days."
The events took place at five local venues every week, with some residents taking the opportunity to walk to each site as they enjoyed the events so much. One parent commented: “We have loved coming to the Holiday Kitchen, it’s given us a reason to get outside and meet up with friends.”
The food was prepared, served and cooked thanks to the team from Club at Tuffley Park and Generation Events. Ross Nicholl who runs both organisations said: "We really wanted to support the Holiday Kitchen not only through The Club @ Tuffley Park CIC but also through our other company Generation Events Gloucestershire because we knew how hard COVID-19 has affected families. Our main aim is to reduce isolation and help tackle food poverty so this fitted right in with what we do. Our team has been a huge part of making this happen and really got into the community spirit whilst doing it."
Tackling food poverty
Food poverty isn’t new has increasingly been brought to the attention of the general public during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many Gloucestershire residents facing the reality of going hungry as loss of income and illness proved the final straw for many already living on low incomes.
Mark Gale, CEO of Gloucestershire Gateway Trust who have supported the project said: "The Holiday Kitchen has been an incredible collaboration between our community partners and other local organisations. Residents have really enjoyed themselves, and although it might not have been what we all had planned for this summer, it's definitely something we'd like to repeat. A big thank you to everyone involved, including the team at Generation Events who have really got behind this initiative and given their time to help."
Councillor Jennie Watkins of Gloucester City Council said: “We worked closely with GGT and our community partners to help develop the bid to DEFRA to secure funding to help local people continue to access healthy food as we recover from the lockdown. The Holiday Kitchen has been an incredibly successful initiative, and I’m very grateful to everyone who has worked so hard over the past few weeks to bring food and fun to our communities.”
The Holiday Kitchen was a huge collaboration effort with thanks going to: