We want to use food to improve the lives of people in Brighton & Hove and beyond.
"Have totally loved doing this. It has really opened my eyes to cooking with fresh ingredients."
- cookery course participant
We have been teaching cookery to people from all walks of life for almost 10 years, usually in community venues that were never designed for this purpose. Throughout this time, we had a vision of creating our own teaching kitchen, where we could run a wider range of courses and help more people to cook, learn new skills and enjoy food with friends.
Now we have a chance to make that dream a reality in a high-profile space in the Community Base building on Queens Road in central Brighton.
With your help, the Community Kitchen will be a space where:
- We inspire the next generation of cooks, with family-friendly courses and children's cookery activities.
- Guest chefs and local experts teach masterclasses on a range of food topics, from how to cook seasonal food on a budget to how to master the art of South Indian curries.
- We can expand the offer of existing courses for people with dementia, learning disabilities, mental health issues - so everyone can benefit from learning about and sharing good food.
- Anyone can bring their own ideas to life by hiring the space, whether for team building, birthday parties, product tastings or food processing.
- Our vision of healthy, sustainable, fair food for everyone in the city has a higher-profile.
Our social enterprise business model means that everyone who can pay to attend a course or hire the space helps support our community courses – so everyone can experience the benefits of cooking and eating together, regardless of finance, confidence or ability. Through teaching how to prepare quick and easy nutritious meals from scratch we will provide the tools for people to make lasting change in their lives.
Why we know our idea will work
We visited other community kitchens across the UK to better understand design and space constraints. We are working with Claire Potter, an interior architect and award-winning designer with a specialism in sustainable design, to ensure we reduce our environmental impact.
Our market research confirmed the level of interest in cookery courses. Of the 200 people surveyed, 89% said they want to learn new skills and 78% said they are more likely to book a course knowing any profits are reinvested into community courses.
We also surveyed 50 local community groups and 91% agreed that, “There is a need for more facilities in the city to teach people essential cookery skills.”
"I'm taking some of the recipes home with me, and then I've been showing my mum how I cook them, and once I've learned to cook them with my mum, I'm going to learn to try and do it all by myself back in my own place."
- participant on cookery course for adults with learning disabilities
We believe food is more than just fuel. It brings people together and changes lives. Founded in 2003, the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership has helped over 10,000 people learn to cook, grow their own food, eat a healthier diet and waste less. Eating is central to life’s celebrations and memories, and our approach is to use this power of food to bring about change.
We have connected and inspired people through innovative projects such as:
- Our flagship vegetable garden in Preston Park which helped inspire over 50 other community gardens to set up across the city.
- The UK's most successful Casserole Club scheme connecting people who can share an extra portion of food with an isolated person living nearby.
- Our pioneering work on food poverty, coordinating a city wide action plan to tackle the root causes of food poverty involving everyone from food banks to decision makers.
- Engaging food activities with diverse communities across Brighton & Hove - including people in recovery from addiction, survivors of domestic abuse, young people with learning disabilities, families on low incomes and people from minority ethnic communities.
We work at community level but thanks to our many achievements have also found audiences for our message nationally and beyond. We have given evidence to the House of Commons and House of Lords and been recognised by the National Lottery Awards and the Sustainable Food Cities network We are seen as a leader in our field, with Food Partnerships based on our model now set up in 50 other places in the UK.
Our vision now is to build upon this experience and create a Community Kitchen where everyone can experience the benefits we have seen from our previous work:
- Healthier diet and improved physical health
- Decreased stress and improved mood
- Decreased isolation and loneliness
- Increased confidence
- Increased skills, and in some cases new careers and employment!
"When I was diagnosed I didn’t know what to do, I’d been working hard for a long time, it’s really nice for me to come here and have something to do. It’s meant I have had something when I broke down. It’s nice to be with other people and cook."
- participant on dementia-friendly cookery course
The story so far
Our vision has already received tremendous support. The initial building work in the Community Kitchen is funded by £85,000 from the Veolia Environmental Trust and the players of the People's Postcode Lottery with support from the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation. As part of its wide range of activities the Community Kitchen will deliver the Jamie's Ministry of Food cooking course.
We are converting a disused office space in central Brighton into the Community Kitchen of our dreams. The initial work is taking place thanks to the generosity of local contractors MacConvilles Surveying and building students from Greater Brighton Metropolitan College who have given their skills and time for free.
Our plans see the shell of the building being finished by March, ready for us to fit the kitchen itself during April.
How we will spend the funding
Although we have received considerable support to date, we now need to raise £20,000 to fully fit the kitchen, as set out in the chart below.
We need to invest in hard-wearing materials, such as quality flooring, so our busy Community Kitchen will keep looking great for years to come. We aim to use a balance of quality, new kitchen equipment alongside recycled and reused materials. The design prioritises accessibility and flexibility - from specialist accessible cookery equipment to adaptable areas for dining and food preparation.
Our secured funding covers lighting installation but the space presents some interesting challenges - so we would welcome expertise from any local companies that could help us find creative solutions.
Fitting out the kitchen is the last piece of the jigsaw to realise our dream of a Community Kitchen for all in Brighton & Hove and beyond.
Join us on our journey to bring this Community Kitchen to life!
Our thank you
We’d like to offer you the following as a small thank you for supporting us:
- Your name inscribed on the supporting pillar in the centre of the new Community Kitchen.
- The chance to win a cookery class place for you and a friend.*
In addition to this:
- Pledges of £30 receive a choice of branded kitchen kit - apron, tote bag or mug (see image above).
- Pledges of £50 receive a free place on a cookery class, or the chance to 'pay it forward' and allow us to offer a place to someone in need.
- Pledges of £75 receive a place on a special Cookery Masterclass with a local chef:
NEW: Book a place on a Masterclass with Minesh Agnihotri, founder of Indian Summer and new Indian recipe box scheme the KariClub.Com, to learn how authentic curries have been cooked by Indian families for generations.
NEW: Book a place on a Masterclass with Kane McDowell, artisan baker and founder at Sugardough (Hove & the Lanes) to learn the art of cake baking and decorating.
Limited spaces remaining for a Masterclass with Douglas McMaster, chef and founder of the UK's first zero-waste restaurant, Silo.
SOLD OUT: Book a place on a Cookery Masterclass with Michael Bremner, chef and founder at 64 Degrees and Murmur.
- Pledges of £100 receive two free places on a cookery class, or the chance to 'pay it forward' and allow us to offer these to people in need.
- Pledges of £250 receive exclusive use of the Kitchen for a 2.5-hour session, or the chance to 'pay it forward' and allow us to offer this to a local community group.
- Pledges of £500 receive exclusive use of the Kitchen for a 5-hour session, or the chance to 'pay it forward' and allow us to offer this to a local community group.
- Pledges of £1,000 receive a private course for a group of up to 8 people, or the chance to 'pay it forward' and allow us to offer this to a group of people who would not be able to attend otherwise.
You can also choose any amount in between the above suggestions.
We will keep all supporters updated about our progress, with opportunities to feed in what you want to see offered in the Community Kitchen. Supporters will also receive priority booking once course places go on sale.
* The names of all supporters to the crowdfund will be entered into a prize draw and the first drawn name will have the opportunity to attend a cookery class for free - and bring a friend along with them too. Here are some of the courses we plan to run once the kitchen is open.
If you want to see this vision become a reality, please share the campaign on your social media using #KitOutTheKitchen and @btnhovefood. This is a proven way to increase donations!
THANK YOU, from all the team at Brighton & Hove Food Partnership