A fledgling community cookery school

If you are excited by the idea of becoming a community cookery school or kitchen but perhaps feel overwhelmed by how far Made In Hackney has come, set your sights on a newer project that shows the importance of taking it one step at a time.

Starting JoyFull Greens

Fréderique Lecerf has recently set up JoyFull Greens community cookery school in Godalming, a market town in Surrey around 30 miles southwest of London, and is utilising the information and support through Global Plant Kitchens to stay on track.

She started the project following 20 years spent in the education sector, where she saw how many children, young people and adults struggle with mental and physical well being, which can be linked to poor diet and food access.

Having always been committed to the pillars of health, food and the planet, Frédie told us “it took me a very long time to find a project which not only ticked all of these boxes but also offered practical solutions to individuals and communities. With major global challenges facing our world, with the state of our health urgently needing to be addressed, this is a bottom-up system change where the personal and the global are deeply related.”

From this came a desire to help engage people with the lifelong benefits of eating more plants through cooking which is an act of self-care and love.

Despite only being a few weeks into the project, Frédie has already taken some tangible steps to get going: buying a web domain, identifying potential premises and plans to have a bank account and CIC set up within another week or so. All of these are practical steps that can be done whilst you research your community’s needs, develop a strategy or action plan, and bring on board a team of volunteers.

Engaging with the community

Frédie said “my calendar is already getting busy, contacting councillors, borough council officers, charity leaders and health professionals, as well as potential plant-based chefs for masterclasses.”

These vital conversations will identify local priorities and give Frédie the opportunity to build networks that will be useful as JoyFull Greens grows. As the Made In Hackney founder, Sarah Bentley, shared in module 1 of our course, don’t dismiss any conversation or connection as you never know where the connection might lead in the future!

Joining Global Plant Kitchens has come at the right time for Frédie. She told us “I have only just started the programme but it is already proving incredibly useful, invaluable in fact, in setting up the necessary steps to take.”

“Jumping from teacher to social entrepreneur is a pretty scary thing! So it’s amazing to have the expertise & support of this programme and I am so grateful. I would never have had the courage to go for it without it! Thank you!”

We will be here for Frédie every step of the way – and you if you choose to start a vegan community cookery school. If Frédie’s actions have inspired you, check out our 10 steps to get your vegan community kitchen started.

You can contact Joyfull Greens at Fredie@joyfullgreens.com

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