These past few weeks have been an exciting time for the Crossroads Community Hub community outreach team.
Project Coordinator, Stacey, and Community Food Workers Gemma and Julie have been working hard growing and strengthening our network of partners. Working with individuals and organisations, our help in the community is far-reaching.
We work weekly with the kids from Annbank Community Association, having weekly sessions where we give advice on healthy eating and teach food preparation skills. This year we even worked with them to make healthy Halloween party treats! In the new year we will be having weekly cooking classes with them, teaching them how to prepare healthy meals. A great little foodie session within this rural community!
Working monthly with Patchwork Recovery Community in Kilmarnock, we attend their lady’s group. Here, we provide cooking demonstrations with recipes the ladies have specially requested. Our food workers will also be teaching the attendees to produce their own creations. This group is a really fun interactive session, and the food workers always enjoy their visits to Patchwork.
Our Work with the NHS and East Ayrshire CVO
East Ayrshire Housing Support Assistants use us as their first port of call when they receive emergency referrals and need food support. We have also been working with the Community Connector and the DOT Hub, both provided by East Ayrshire CVO. The Community Connector works with socially isolated people, and she regularly signposts individuals to our groups. This is one of the main objectives of our groups – combatting potential isolation. This can often go hand-in-hand with the need for food support which we also provide. This has been a great partnership and we’re so pleased that she recommends us so highly.
Working with an NHS Addictions Peer Recovery Worker, our Darvel Hub team facilitate a weekly peer recovery group for her clients in the Irvine Valley area. This group is proving to be of great importance to the clients. Our Community Food Worker is always on had to provide any food support needed or just a wee tasty treat! It’s a very positive, busy, weekly group.
Current Work and Continuing Into 2022
Able to start our own groups again, we relaunched our Coffee & Craft Monday group and our Wednesday Soup Group. Some of our regulars have been attending these groups since before the pandemic and were delighted to see them up and running again. We also welcomed several new faces to these weekly groups. We have paused these groups until the new year, with everyone’s safety and comfort a top priority.
Our emergency food provision has, of course, continued, and we even whipped up a cracking Christmas Dinner! We wanted to bring a little bit of joy to the people we help during a time of year that can often be difficult. This is a huge part of the support we provide, and we will continue to do so into 2022.
We now also have our breakfast stall outside the Darvel Hub, providing water and fresh fruit. Set up for school commuting times, we offer local pupils something healthy before the start of the school day. The easily accessible stall means schoolkids can help themselves on the way past.
Our work with FareShare is still ongoing, with our stall set out twice a week in Darvel and once at the DOT Centre in Newmilns. Morrisons kindly donate food twice a month which we give out from our Darvel Hub. And to date, we have had 298 collections from Tesco, which is the equivalent to 46,224 meals for people in the community. By not sending this food to landfill, we have saved 62,030kg of CO2!
We can’t wait to carry on working within the Irvine Valley community in 2022. And we’re excited to see what other partnerships and initiatives the future brings!