The project intends to renovate a disused building on the Aylesbury Estate in South East London as a community kitchen and social pantry with flexible spaces for youth and community provision.
As we emerge from the pandemic, issues of local food insecurity have been exacerbated for low income households and we will need a range of responses to address and support this. The Aylesbury Community Kitchen would form part a Walworth Neighbourhood Food Model taking shape locally.
In partnership with Pembroke House and community partners, NHG would establish a community kitchen for groups to run healthy cook and eat sessions. This need has been identified through Pembroke House's public discussion on food insecurity, 'We need to talk', as well as demand from local groups for this resource.
It would provide a short term base for the Walworth food hub while renovation work is taking place at the Living Room. Longer term, it would provide a social pantry, community kitchen and community space
What we'll deliver:
- A renovated building with repaired roof and new toilets
- Install a new community kitchen
- Install growing space and communal seating
Why it's a great idea:
Food insecurity was already a significant issue on the Aylesbury Estate, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic impacts. Over the past 10 months, many residents have seen these impacts first hand through illness, loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, diminished household incomes and social isolation.
The project will provide an interim base for the Walworth emergency food hub, a social pantry for low income households to access healthy and affordable groceries, a community kitchen for community groups to run cook and eat sessions, a community growing space, and a youth and community hub running a mix of activities for residents to come together and reconnect after lockdown.
We anticipate that 1350 residents per week will benefit from the food distribution centre, a further 200+ residents signing up as members to the food pantry (based on local take-up at nearby pantries), plus at least 50 residents accessing community kitchen and hub activities each week.
Steps to get it done:
- Provide temporary home for Walworth community food hub
- Install new community kitchen
- Co-design community kitchen activity timetable with community
- Install raised beds for growing area
- Community planting days
- Engage community in designing social pantry model
- Launch social pantry
- Work with partners to engage community in creating Walworth Neighbourhood Food Model
- Work with Pembroke House, LB Southwark and partners to launch Walworth Neighbourhood Food Model
- Evaluate Aylesbury Community Kitchen project
- Devise strategy for long term/permanent location in the Estate
The project will support low income residents on the Aylesbury to develop more cost effective approaches to grocery shopping, as well as healthier cook and eat strategies. By providing more cost effective solutions to food shopping, it will support families to better manage their money and enable it to stretch further, supported by money management workshops to be run from the hub.
The neighbourhood hub will provide opportunities for residents to reconnect and socialise with their friends and neighbours once again after a long period of isolation for many. It will encourage healthy activity through fitness and wellbeing activities at the hub, as well as leisure through opportunities for community gardening.