VEKA is proud to have partnered with Burnley FC in the Community to help open the Burnley Community Kitchen.
The facility, within Charter Walk Shopping Centre, includes a foodbank in a supermarket-style layout, a cafe, a teaching kitchen and a meeting space.
Dawn Stockell is the Marketing Director for VEKA Group, one of the region's biggest employers, and had this to say: “The Community Kitchen Project took around 18 months to complete and has been a great illustration of how the whole town can come together to create something special. The Kitchen will help to tackle a host of all-too familiar problems.
“Stats show that 27% of children live in poverty and 32% go to school with nothing to eat. There is a real growing need for foodbanks and for education about nutrition, especially as it is estimated that 69% of adults are obese and our region has one of the highest concentrations of fast food outlets and takeaways in the country.
“Food and cookery education can be the catalyst to changing lives; the kitchen training area will allow people not only to learn to cook but also find out more about diet and nutrition for themselves and their families.
“Jamie Oliver generously provided the chefs with training and sent a video message on the day of the official opening praising the facility, the town and the community's effort.
“While the Community Kitchen officially opened on November 1st, the facility had already more than proven its value before this by helping 149 individuals; including 103 children and 28 homeless people.
“There was literally no budget for the project so everything has been achieved through grants, donations and the support of volunteers which I, for one, think is absolutely phenomenal.
“VEKA Group is always keen to be involved in community and charity projects and we were proud to provide the windows for the Community Kitchen while one of our customers, Sovereign Group, provided the fire doors.
“It was great to see so many regional companies including Warburtons and Calico come together to offer financial or practical support for the refurbishment.
“It's a pleasure to be involved in a project that will have such a tremendous impact for the people in the region that really need it. Burnley FC in the Community have done - and continue to do – a great job in getting Burnley's Community Kitchen up and running.”
Burnley Community Kitchen will ultimately aim to lift users out of foodbank reliance by offering employment, as well as financial and education support.
Want to help? Burnley FC in the Community is looking for volunteers to assist with the day-to-day running of the Kitchen. Available roles include receptionists, drivers, café workers and lots more. Please contact Anita Orchard, Community Kitchen Manager, on firstname.lastname@example.org