A NEW initiative that aims to feed the vulnerable and isolated in Stalybridge is well underway thanks to generous financial investment from community project The Big Local.
A cash injection of £16,672 made it possible for work to commence on refurbishing the kitchen area of the St. George’s Church, which was completed in late January of this year.
The St George’s Kitchen cooked its first meals in June and is already planning the next stages of their development and expansion after a tremendous reception from locals.
David Tilbrook, chair of St George’s Kitchen, said: “The Big Local is a 10-year project based on the estate surrounding St George’s Church.
“They were given £1 million in lottery funding to invest in local projects that will leave a legacy for the area and benefit the local community.
“It was felt that the St George’s Kitchen initiative was worth investing in and after a couple of months setting up, we managed to get things started around May/June.
“The idea is that our volunteers cook healthy meals to provide for the vulnerable, the lonely and the isolated in the area, and to give them someone to talk to.”
Due to coronavirus restrictions, volunteers initially couldn’t visit anyone inside their house, but that didn’t stop them from having a friendly chat on their doorstep.
In their first two months of operation, the project’s popularity soared and plans are already afoot to make it more self-sufficient moving forward.
David continued: “We’ve had quite a few people getting in touch to say they would prefer to donate something for the meals instead of getting them for free, which is very generous.
“As time goes on, we want St George’s Kitchen to become more self-sufficient and we’re starting to look at applying for different funding streams.
“But we have a very good base to start with. The demand is certainly there and there’s plenty of interest from people who want to volunteer with us.”
• If you would like to get involved with St George’s Kitchen, or know someone who might benefit from their meals and company, call 07783 009157 or email firstname.lastname@example.org