Last summer the cafe at Goldsmiths Community Centre closed, after 12 years of operation. Our centre users miss it, and so do we! But... no one could make a go of it any more as a business, and we had to look at different ways we could use it, bring some income to the community centre and most importantly invite local people in!
A group of local organisations got together and have been planning the way forward for this space. The first meeting took place at the end of October 2012, and we have been meeting monthly since then and inviting guests from the local allotment society and our local councillor. We renamed the space The Food Place to reflect the variety of events and activities that would be happening. We first thought up the name, back in February 2010 - http://goldcatcafe.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/food-place-summary-of-10-feb-workshop.html
Our community payback team sorted out the store cupboard and kitchen units, thoroughly cleaned and repainted the cupboard and put everything back in apple pie order. Over Christmas the floor was sanded and treated ready for the new year and new activities. At the last hygiene inspection, it received a five star rating!
The Food Place got off to a great start in the New Year. Three regular activities are running from baby weaning, food explorers for under 5s and cooking your own evening meals and we have put on a couple of special events, a Love Food Hate Waste workshop and A Taste of Scotland. The space is also being rented regularly for private functions, bringing much needed income to the Goldsmiths Community Association. For more details about regular activities including Yummy Explorers and Food Explorers contact Jo on 020 8695 5955.
|Love Food Hate Waste workshop in preparation mode|
‘Come and Cook your Evening Meal!’
This new project running at Goldsmiths Community Centre is for all ages and free for anyone in Lewisham who not only wants to learn cooking skills but enjoy it. Cllr Janet Daby, who was involved in the initial discussions of the project, was there on the first evening to support and offer her encouragement to volunteers.
Rosalynn, Cllr Daby and Abi at the first session of Come and Cook your Evening Meal
She comments, “It is lovely project to be a part of from the beginning, and one I feel will be a great success. The aim was to encourage cooking at home, making people aware of being nutritious and eating the right foods. It was also to offer cooking skills to those that lack them as well as showing them that it can be fun and easy to do. There is no doubt that children, parents and residents will love it. My best wishes go out to everyone who takes part in improving their skills and learning how to cook. I remember the home economic classes I took at school which I feel should be brought back as part of every person’s learning”.
Cllr Daby is also working with churches in the Whitefoot area to set up a food bank. She feels the food bank along with this project will support local people to provide for themselves and their families in increasing hard times. She aims to think ahead of October 2013 when the coalition government’s Universal Credit is put into effect and where people could be further pushed into economic hardship as a result of it.
There are places available on these sessions please contact Delphine
Och aye the noo! A Taste... of Scotland
Following successful pilots by Downham Nutrition Partnership of a Taste of Italy and A Taste of China last year, 2013 brought A Taste of Scotland to The Food Place.
Chopping the tatties and leeks for A Taste of Scotland
We chopped leeks and tatties for leek and potato soup, cooked finnan (smoked) haddock for cullen skink and even sampled some haggis! As a Dutch waitress once said to me when I asked what was in the croquettes 'You don't want to know'. Also on the menu were Scottish cheeses, oatcakes, shortbread and cranachan. A very enjoyable evening to the accompaniment of traditional Scottish music.
Coming soon, a Taste of Jamaica.
And to whet your appetite and see the progress, some photos of what we've been doing!
Fruit kebabs prepared by Delicious Nutritious for the DNP AGM
Healthy, delicious salads from Delicious Nutritious
Contents of The Food Place storeroom, before it was cleaned and repainted
Food Place store cupboard, freshly cleaned and painted
Ingredients for a Food Place workshop from Love Food Hate Waste
What does a healthy Downham look like?
Fresh herbs from the community garden
Community garden grown 'Marmande' tomatoes