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Community Kitchen for asylum seekers and refugees

by Philippa Roloff in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

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Unfortunately this project was not successful.

With your support, we aim to install a kitchen in our office in order to create a welcoming community space for refugees and asylum seekers.

by Philippa Roloff in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Govan Community Project (GCP) is a charity in south-west Glasgow that was originally set up by community and church members in 2001, in response to the needs of newly arrived asylum seekers.

Today, we have developed into one of the main reception charities in Glasgow, running advice and advocacy services, food aid projects and community groups to reduce the life stresses such as poverty and social isolation faced by people who have come to Scotland seeking protection.

We would like your support to create a welcoming community space in our Govan office, where people from asylum seeking and refugee backgrounds can come together to access our services, from healthy meals and food parcels to advocacy and support, while having a safe and welcoming space to relax and socialise.

In order to achieve this, we need to improve the facilities our Govan office and install a kitchen where we can prepare community meals. At the moment, unfortunately the facilities at our office are very basic - just a fridge, a sink and a kettle! With access to a proper kitchen, we will be able to prepare meals, store food safely for our food parcels, and develop a project which has community, dignity and inclusion at the heart of it.

The majority of people who claim asylum in the UK have been forced to leave their homes
due to reasons which can have lifelong impacts on their mental and physical health. Research has
shown that more than 61% of asylum seekers experience severe mental distress, which is greatly impacted by post-migration life stresses, including destitution and social isolation. The work we do at GCP helps reduce these life stresses and improve wellbeing. Our work ensures that community members have safe and habitable accommodation, food to eat, and money to spend on essentials. Our office is a busy place with lots going on - but it is not the community space we wish it could be.

Food is a great way of bringing people together. Sharing food is a way of sharing culture, sharing stories, and feeling at home. Asylum seekers and refugees who are making a new life in Glasgow are often socially isolated, and as they are not permitted to work, they have to rely on food aid to make ends meet. We currently distribute food parcels to families in need, but having a community kitchen will mean we can welcome people with a hot meal, and offer a place to chat and socialise while accessing other forms of support that are available to them.

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