We will use an existing building to develop a community café that will deliver low-cost, healthy and affordable meals for the whole community. Our ambition is for the café to have a fully functional commercial standard kitchen which can withstand regular use. The café will also offer open sessions for local people to learn new skills to create affordable meals for the whole family as well as support social eating. In addition, we will recruit and train a bank of volunteers to support the running of the café. A key element of the project will be to use it as a vehicle to reduce social isolation, especially for the elderly and vulnerable based on the Roundshaw Estate and surrounding area. Food is a great way to celebrate diversity and will be a central theme of the project with health and well-being a major focus. Research shows there is a clear link between what we eat and how we feel.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
The Roundshaw Community Network (RCN) is passionate about its community and want to see it continue to thrive. This can only be done by supporting the community to get involved and make the most of the opportunities available to them. The RCN would like to make better use of the Vanguard Centre so it becomes a hive of activity for the whole community. The establishment of a community café will act as a springboard to open up a range of opportunities and partnerships. Food poverty has become a growing problem in the London Borough of Sutton. Figures provided by the Sutton Foodbank in 2018 confirm that 2,350 people used local food banks in 2017/18. The RCN would like to provide healthy low-cost meals to the local community to help tackle food poverty as well as increase volunteering and training opportunities. Holiday hunger is an issue for many young families; this project is a great base from which to tackle this growing problem.
Steps to get it done:
Metropolitan Thames Valley MTVH has given its full support to the RCN and this project. MTVH will provide the space for free as an in-kind donation and will maintain the space on a long term basis. We recognise that access to fresh produce is limited and in partnership with the RCN we want to support the community to grow its own produce and are willing to provide small green spaces to cultivate it. The Roundshaw Estate is primarily a family estate but also has an elderly population that needs to be taken care of. The success of the project will be evident for years to come when our current young people become tenants of the future. Learning skills such as budgeting, cooking and being kind to others at a young age will stand them in good stead to become active citizens of their community. Throughout this project they will come to learn the importance of taking care of themselves and others. We are all really excited about this project and the possibilities it offers.
About the space
Vangaurd Community Centre
London Borough of Sutton