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Friday Food n Friends Begins at The Vine Community Centre in Hyson Green

31 October 17 interview: Bridie Squires

Pamela Jones from Friday Food n Friends answers a few questions about the new community eating initiative running in Nottingham...

What is Friday Food n Friends?
A new community meal scheme. There’s no charge apart from that to engage with others, make new friends and become part of The Vine’s network of happy people!

How did the idea come about and who’s involved?
There are many people who’d like to meet up with friends but can’t get to Costa or Café Nero, or can’t afford to meet up in places like that, and there are lots of people in our area who have become socially isolated for various reasons, like becoming recently unemployed, bereaved, separated, children leaving home, lack of finances… so that was our starting point.

The Vine Community Centre is a tremendous space and thanks to the hard work of Cheryl Hemmings, the manager, Near Neighbours offered us funds to further equip the kitchen.

We selected Friday as it’s a wind-down time for most people and because there aren’t many social cafes running on that day or at that time. We called it Friday Food n Friends because that’s exactly what we want it to be; as a species, we have historically come together around food, to share, talk, and enjoy. Food is the first thing a mother shares with her baby. Food is warmth, comfort and love and that’s what we want to spread.

What kind of food will be served?
A three-course home-cooked meal with meat and vegetarian options always on offer. Although we can’t guarantee gluten or nut free, we’ll have as wide a range as our budget will allow, to make the meal as accessible as possible to people of all backgrounds and beliefs.

Initially, volunteers from other community kitchens are helping and several multi-ethnic groups who use The Vine Community Centre have expressed interest in catering, so we will have the opportunity to sample Romani, Romanian, Indian, Eritrean, Syrian and Hungarian cuisines, to name a few.

What effect do you hope to have on the local community?
Community spirit, enhanced opportunities to make new friends to find out what’s on offer at the incredibly vibrant Vine Community Centre, and, we hope, great food!

How can people get involved and help out?
Donate fresh produce on Thursday and Friday mornings, then come to share and meet! Come to help us cook! Come to help us wash up! Just come along and be part of a community meal!

Friday Food n Friends launches on Friday 3 November at The Vine Community Centre in Hyson Green at 6pm. Everyone welcome!

If you’d like to get involved with Friday Food n Friends, call 0115 924 9700 or email [email protected]


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