One of our founders, Eva on the importance of community spaces and how we can keep them alive in, and out of, lockdown.
“Kids Kitchen Collective’s tagline is: Cook Delicious Food Together.
And that’s what we do. We cook delicious food together, with our children, with our friends, with our families and with our communities. This feels vital now more than ever. The spaces where we would traditionally get together gave us places to offer support and solidarity, as we contended with all life threw at us as new parents. These spaces are now closed and it looks like they could be the last places to reopen.
I have been thinking a lot about early years provision for young children recently. My son Billy is now 10, but I have never forgotten the importance of the stay and play sessions, activities and friendship groups in those first four years. Knowing that on a Wednesday morning I could go to the Playbus, or that on Friday I could drag myself and my son to the local church hall and there would be a cup of tea and a slice of toast waiting for us so I didn’t have to make breakfast. I can honestly say I don’t know if I would have got through and become the person, and parent, I am without them.
Kids Kitchen is a community I am extremely proud to be part of. Co-founding Kids Kitchen and working with Rebecca and the team, as they take it from strength to strength, is an absolute pleasure. Kids Kitchen allowed me to re-build my confidence. It helped me to discover a passion for working with early years, their families and communities. And I now have my dream job working at a company called Co-DB Play where I create play environments which support carers and young children to spend quality time together.
Creating space for people to spend time together and support each other is invaluable, and it’s at the heart of what we do at Kids Kitchen. Being a carer can be isolating, and that’s why spaces like these are so important. Our sessions provide an opportunity for new parents to meet people who understand what they’re going through. We bring people together to build a supportive community, making sure they don’t have to face the challenges of care-giving alone.
Our sessions aren’t the only way we support families. We also train parents and community members to be Kids Kitchen session leaders. We support people to find funding to facilitate sessions locally, and we offer flexible employment to parents with young children. We understand what families need from Kids Kitchen, because we have been there ourselves, so the way we work has been built with those challenges in mind.
Organisations like ours, creating space for connection at a time of extreme isolation, have never been more needed. So please support us and help us to continue supporting children and carers to cook delicious food together.”
Update: our Crowdfunder is finished and we raised just under £2,500! Thankyou all so so much for your support. If you missed the cut off and would like to support our work, you can do so via the link below! ????????????
Words by Eva Freeman
Photo by Mike Erskine on Unsplash