Presentation on theme: "A Q&A with: Debbi Lee A Hull 2020 Champions Case Study. We have been working with Debbi as a champion for the last few months and it is amazing just how."— Presentation transcript:
A Q&A with: Debbi Lee A Hull 2020 Champions Case Study. We have been working with Debbi as a champion for the last few months and it is amazing just how much her project has had an impact on her community already. We are really happy to have her as a champion and hopefully you can take something useful away from this Q&A!
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself? A: My name is Debbi Lee and my project is called the Culture Café. My aim is to establish a community café supported by volunteers that serves meals using ingredients donated by local businesses. It will also avoid waste of nutritious and safe, however unsalable food. I have already held one Big Lunch to gain valuable research into how the project could work and have another Lunch coming up to target the people that I would like to help in the future.
Q: Why did you decided to start your project ‘Culture Café’ A: I decided to start this project after watching a TV programme about breakfast clubs. On it was a little girl who said that she had to go there every morning because her mum had no food in the cupboards. I was shocked to see that the little girl must have only lived a couple of streets away from me because the church where they were holding the breakfast club, was maybe a minute away from my house. It got me thinking, breakfast clubs are only open during term time. What happens when it’s the six weeks holidays? Does that little girl not get anything to eat in a morning because there is no breakfast club open? It broke my heart to think that this could actually happen in my area and so I decided that I would try my hardest to make sure that this doesn’t happen.
Q: So how did you go about taking the first steps in order to get your project up and running? A: Well at first, I had no idea how I was going to get this up and running. I have lots of big plans in my head and I needed help to get them started. I met John through another project which he was involved with for the NHS. He had come to Edinburgh Street and we started chatting. I told him all of my ideas and the things that I wanted to change and he told me he would be in touch. A couple of days later, he called me and asked me if I was still interested, of course I said yes. John and the rest of the Hull 2020 Champions team helped me a lot with planning the first lunch and gaining food donations because I had never done anything like it before. I went to every shop on Hessle Road with a letter asking them to donate, put posters up around the community, delivered flyers and also through Hull 2020 Champion got to go on the radio and various social media sites.
Q:How did the Culture café go? A: I was delighted with the way it went. It enabled us to gain the research we needed in order to eventually make this project a success. Some people however, did not share my enthusiasm. One lady at the last lunch told me it would never work and that people would take advantage. I’m not about that, if someone wants to come and eat, then I’ll let them eat. I am not going to turn anyone away. There will be plenty of food available so even if someone eats four or five times for free, it won’t bother me. That person may come in and meet friends, then they could end up volunteering, you never know. I would never want to stop someone from coming in.
Q: What would you say was the hardest bit for you to do? A: The hardest bit for me was approaching people and asking for donations. I don’t usually like doing that anyway and I was a little bit disheartened by some rude responses off some people in the community. Quite a few people were quick to dismiss me without even listening to what I had to say. They just didn’t want to be friendly and they wouldn’t even take a letter out of my hand. That however, was a minority of people. I have been humbled and amazed at the amount of support I have had throughout this journey, there really are some very nice people out there.
Q:Tell us more about the Christmas Lunch? A: Basically for the next step in this project, I am holding a community Christmas Lunch. This will be aimed at people who for some reasons, probably beyond their control, will not get the chance to enjoy a great family Christmas lunch this year. We will have a Santa, a choir singing festive songs, toys and everything that makes Christmas amazing. The response from people so far has been amazing. We have had the meat donated from a lovely guy called Dave from the Nice 2 be Nice charity. We have had cakes, jam, biscuits, toys and an array of other different donations given to us. Lots of people have also volunteered for the day, one thing I will really need help with is peeling the vegetables and prepping all of the food. We only have one small oven at Edinburgh Street so it will be difficult to get everything cooked in the same kitchen. I am confident however that with everybody's support, the day will be a success.
Q: Ultimately, where do you see the project going? A: I would like to start looking for my own premises, somewhere ideally with a fitted kitchen. I could then eventually start the project running on a daily basis. I would also like an extra room that I could make into a meeting room where I could do classes on Healthy eating and teaching people what to do with leftover food. I would also like to bring the old crafts back like knitting and crocheting, it would be a place where people who were feeling lonely or isolated will always be welcome. I would also like to include fitness classes for all ages. We already have a fabulous fitness instructor here at Edinburgh street and I believe that lots of people would benefit from them. All in all, I think that the idea is bigger than just meals but it will all come together in time. I can’t do everything at once, but this is my first stepping stone.
Q: You’ve been working with Hull 2020 Champions on this, How have they helped? A: As I previously said, without the help from John and the team, I would have never had the knowledge and capability to get the Culture Café up and running. Hull 2020 Champions really is a fantastic concept and if you have a great idea that is unique to your community, they will try and help you as much as possible to enable you to start making a difference.
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