To use Growing & Cooking to bring our communities together in order to help address the challenges of loneliness and obesity and, through education, encourage people to lead healthier, happier lives.
Our Aims – To:
- To raise 1.4m to create and develop a new community space
- Raise awareness of the consequence of poor diet and lack of exercise in our Communities.
- Provide educational programmes that enable more people in our communities, to eat better and become more active
- Improve current take up of school dinners across Hastings, Rother & West Kent
- Tackle childhood hunger
- Help tackle loneliness
“Give a child a carrot and you feed it for a meal. Teach a child to garden and you feed it for life”. Combine this with teaching vital cooking skills, as well as enhancing a child’s understanding of the benefits of healthy, nutritious food and you start a process that will provides invaluable benefits to our children for the rest of their lives. Working with ESCC, KCC as well Primary and Secondary Schools throughout Hastings, Rother and West Kent, Hands of Hope will run a variety of projects to support our main aims.
Loneliness is a bigger problem than simply an emotional experience. Research shows that loneliness is a comparable risk factor for early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day (Campaign to end Loneliness) and Rother, Hastings and West Kent, shows a notably higher proportion of elderly compared to county, regional and national averages. Rural areas have a unique set of circumstances that can exacerbate the social isolation felt by older residents leading to poor health, loss of independence and lower quality of life. Working alongside ESCC and KCC as well as local NHO’s, HOH will run a number of projects to support our ageing population.
The Wall will be designed as a Community space to teach, train and encourage healthy food choices among adults and children, bringing both generations together to support our aims of tackling childhood obesity and loneliness. The Wall will enhance local access to in-season, fresh fruit and vegetables. We will also provide facilities offering family nutritional education as well as areas for physical activity for adults and children alike, via gardening, cooking and play.
The Journey so far.....
Peasmarsh to Hawkhurst:
In 2016, Hands of Hope undertook its first “Growing” project in association with Robertsbridge Community College as well as joining forces with Northiam Seniors Lunch Club, where we now regularly cook. We have also acquired our first official “Live Life on the Veg Cook Van” which we hope to use at various events to help raise funds for our projects.
In 2017 we received planning permission for a new community facility in Hawkurst which we call “The Wall”, which will be our main base for the many projects we will run to help tackle childhood obesity and loneliness.