We have helped to provide support to a community initiative designed to ensure people have access to a nutritious diet during these challenging times.
The Grow Eat Do project gives residents in Cranbrook, Exeter, the opportunity to have healthy free community meals to promote better health and wellbeing.
One of our shared ownership residents, Andrea Bomanson, is spearheading the drive to make healthy meals accessible for people in the community.
We originally supported Andrea to launch the Incredible Edible community gardening project and have now given some grant funding to help Andrea set up the Grow Eat Do initiative.
The money is being used to buy food and apply for hygiene certificates so that the project can support as many people as possible.
The cooking takes place at Cranbrook’s Younghayes Centre and is proving a big hit in the Cranbrook community.
Andrea, a part-time care worker and mother of one, said: “I really feel food can connect people. I started talking to people and they thought it was a great idea so I pushed ahead with it.
“Some people might not have the skills to cook from scratch and rely on takeaway food.
“But I thought this was a way to teach people how to prepare healthy food and promote community spirit.
“Different families go into the centre to cook and these meals are put in the freezer before being delivered to homes.”
Andrea, who has volunteered in the soup kitchen and also supports local food banks, has thanked us for helping to launch the initiative.
Our Community Connector, Lesley Browne, worked with the Cranbrook Community Association, to help secure an umbrella insurance policy so any member wishing to run local activities had the appropriate cover.
All of the small groups and individuals running the events and activities have registered as members of the community association, which gives them freedom to grow their activities, receive guidance on risk assessment and are covered by insurance.
Andrea added: “LiveWest has been absolutely brilliant and their funding has allowed us to cook around 300 meals so far.
“It is great to know that your local housing association supports in this way as without the money they gave us, we wouldn’t have been able to have set this up.
“The project has also benefited from the generosity of local shops who have donated vegetables to be used in the cooking.
“Some people have lost their jobs and are struggling financially, while others might be ill or just have a support need, so this is a way of helping people in your community.”
Our Community Connector, Lesley Browne, said: “This is a fantastic example of communities supporting one another in times of need.
“I am really delighted that Eat Grow Do is led by a LiveWest resident and we have been able to help contribute some funding to enable the set-up of this project.
“We know that other LiveWest residents are already benefiting, and this demonstrates what a great community Cranbrook is and our commitment to invest in projects that strengthen communities and support wellbeing.”