Community Work in The Valley

You might have noticed that we’ve been a little busier these past couple of months at the Hub. We have been keeping you up to date with all the news around our café and farm shop… but that’s not all we do. Our community work is the foundation of Crossroads Community Hub and Ayrshire Food Hub.

Things have changed since the days of one community worker at a time being allowed in our Darvel Hub to do all the cooking themselves!

What’s cookin’?

We have had some new additions to our community outreach team over the past few months. Joining Gemma S in the Darvel kitchen are Stacey – our Project Manager, and Julie – our new Community Food Worker. Stacey arrives with 20 years’ experience working in the charity sector and has led a range of classes in the community. As well as coming on board with ourselves, Julie will continue her work with Dementia Friendly Prestwick.

Gemma S has been with us for nearly 2 years now. She is a well-kent face who has held the fort at the Darvel Hub and delivered many a meal. This is the team that will be cooking and delivering the thousands of meals that we distribute throughout the Irvine Valley.

Nutritious and well-balanced, we design our selection of premade meals to be comforting and satisfying. Offering people proper meals throughout their week can really help take a lot of pressure off. We want to reach out to anyone who is in danger of becoming in any way isolated, or just those who could do with a helping hand.

Along with our emergency meals, we will be recommencing our work with Darvel Area Regeneration Team (DART). Together, we make up recipe packs that beginner cooks can pick up for free at the Darvel Hub. By encouraging people to prepare and cook meals from scratch we can improve cooking skills and knowledge of nutrition. As well as the recipe cards included in the kits, we produce videos for YouTube – for those who are more visual learners.

Continuing to work with our partners

Throughout lockdown, we have continued working with our partners, including the schools and nurseries in the local area. Part of this work has been the tending to polytunnels and growing beds – somewhere that pupils can learn the growing and harvesting process. We also extend our meal provision to places that families have easy access to – such as these schools and nurseries.

Our community outreach team is currently preparing classes to lead, centred around the growing, preparing and cooking of good food. Our aim is not just to be a supplier of food, but a trusted educational source. If we can deliver classes and groups that give people more knowledge of the food that they eat, it can help improve eating habits and add to cooking skillsets.

Project Manager Stacey delivering to Darvel Nursery

By offering classes and other forms of help that look at every aspect of food and nutrition, we think we have the best chance of reaching as many people as possible with our work. Once schools go back and restrictions are allowed to safely ease, we can really connect with the community around us. Whether you see our wee van nipping around town, or one of our team making their deliveries, we hope to become the known and trusted food charity that’s here to help.

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