The Smile Brigade launches Community Kitchen and seeks volunteers
The Smile Brigade run by Fulham local Monique Newton offers free and heavily subsidised services and activities to people on low incomes or at risk of loneliness and isolation. Some of their activities include dementia friendly activities such as "karaoke and cupcake afternoons" or "sit and get fit" exercise classes which are offered to elderly people in care homes. They also provide an outreach service to people who are homeless - providing free food, clothes and toiletries to people who are sleeping rough as well as home starter packs/hampers (containing the basic necessities) to families on low incomes.
On 14 August The Smile Brigade added to the work, services and activities they provide and set up a community kitchen at Clem Attlee Community Hall. The kitchen is open every Tuesday from 12 - 2 pm providing a free hot meal to anyone who wants or needs one. Unlike your traditional soup kitchen which is means tested - everyone is welcome and they don't need to provide proof of income. The Smile Brigade believe “everyone who wants or needs access to the basic necessities such as food and toiletries should be able to do so in a friendly and non judgemental environment”.
The food for the kitchen is supplied by City Harvest London and The Felix Project who donate surplus food which would have otherwise been wasted and unused. The Smile Brigade chefs Josh Warner and Eleanore Crewe create a menu and cook tasty and nutritious meals from the ingredients supplied.
Every Tuesday there is also a community wardrobe and bookshelf for guests with free books and clothes which have been donated and are available for people to take. Those guests who can afford to do so are encouraged to "pay what they can" whilst those who can't are welcome to take what they need for free. Free sanitary products are also available for women and girls.
Monique told Urban Village LDN that “as well as donations of food, clothes, books, toiletries and other household items we are looking for volunteers each week to help us run the kitchen. Be it by offering your skills if you are a chef or a performer (we have entertainment each week) or volunteering to help set up, serve the food, befriend our guests and pack away”.
Work begins on new Sands End Arts and Community Centre
The hoardings have been up for while but we’re pleased to report that work has now begun on the brand new Sands End Arts and Community Centre which is being built in and around the currently disused Clancarty Lodge in South Park. The designs for the centre have already won an award and a community trust comprised of local people has been established to run and operate the centre which is scheduled to open next year replacing the former centre in Broughton Road.
Works seem to be moving swiftly and are being done at no cost to local taxpayers after funding was secured from Thames Tideway and Chelsea FC by H&F Council and local residents. We will keep you posted on the works progress.