The first beneficiaries of a community projects fund, launched by British cooking appliance brand Stoves, have been revealed.
The £20,000 Stoves Community campaign aims to place the kitchen at the heart of local communities by helping projects to transform their kitchen facilities. The first wave of applications saw 230 nominations flood in from across the country and almost 12,000 votes were cast in a public Facebook vote.
The first prize of £5,000 of cooking appliances of their choice went to the Dorothy Goodman School in Leicestershire, which caters for pupils with learning disabilities between the ages of three and 19.
The school chose a full size Stoves induction range cooker plus a number of built-in and freestanding cookers to help improve its cookery room facilities, which it uses to provide a range of courses to pupils including catering and hospitality. The school believes that these courses aid social and customer service skills and will help pupils to pursue careers in the catering sector.
In second place was St George’s Crypt in Leeds, which provides immediate care and support for homeless and vulnerable adults, including running on-the-job kitchen training to support positive change and employability.
St George’s won £3,000 of appliances to update its kitchen facilities in three locations – a hostel, supported accommodation and a community café – from where it prepares more than 52,000 meals a year to support the local community.
And in third place, receiving £2,000 of appliances was One Church Brighton, which works with people on the margins of society, focusing on homelessness, social isolation, poverty, unemployment, young people, social exclusion and drug addiction.
One Church was selected by judges because it runs four key projects – Chomp, Real Junk Food Project, Nightshelter and Just Life – which all have kitchens and food preparation at their heart.
Jonathan Casley, managing director of Stoves’ parent company Glen Dimplex Home Appliances, said: “Community projects which provide support, care, comfort and activities play a vital role in towns, cities and villages across the country and we are delighted to be able to help some of them in a small way.
“We were astounded by the volume of entries that the first phase of Community Kitchens generated and very touched by some of the work that they do. We look forward to receiving many more applications in the coming weeks and months and continuing to put something back into the community.”
The Community Kitchens nomination process has now reopened. Community projects and charities that would like to put themselves forward should go to www.stoves.co.uk/community-kitchen before the deadline of Sunday January 31, 2016.