On Tuesday 10 July 2018 Shoosmiths’ corporate responsibility consultant Nicola Ellen visited BesTop Community Kitchen alongside fellow members of the Business in the Community East Midlands Advisory Board.
As Nicola explained ‘ before our quarterly advisory board meeting we spent the morning helping to serve meals at Bestwood Park Church in Beckhampton Road, Bestwood, Nottingham.
The social eating hub, which began a year ago provides a Tuesday social eating experience for the local community where people can come along for a meal, find friendship and access support from other organisations. We set up and laid tables, served drinks and meals and chatted to the visitors before clearing up afterwards. Since the service began nearly 3,800 meals have been served with 79 covers provided today alone. On Tuesday’s menu were choices of roast chicken, cold ham or chicken or Mediterranean bruschetta served with jersey royal potatoes and peas. Dessert was cake or choc ices. The food is provided through BesTop’s membership with FareShare, the national food distribution company that works with supermarkets to distribute surplus food that would otherwise go to waste.
We were made to feel extremely welcome by the staff, volunteers and diners and I am very grateful to Laura Browne, Community Engagement Manager of Business in the Community for organising the day for our team’. Laura added ‘It was just fantastic to see the Advisory Board getting stuck in with the community at Bestwood, a particularly deprived area in Nottingham where 59% of children are living in poverty, with more than 70% from in-work families. The demand for social eating is growing, and BesTop kitchen is one of more than 50 local centres that provide growing numbers of people with an excellent home cooked meal in a supportive and welcoming environment. For many people this may be the only cooked meal they eat that week. Seeing the Board members connect with this issue and the local community was an extremely positive experience for everyone.’