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The new chapter begins

Happy 2018 everyone!

All the staff team hope you had an enjoyable and relaxing time over Christmas and New Year. Our services were very well received indeed and everyone who came to the kitchen on Christmas Day enjoyed a truly festive feast.

We were pleased to provide our services throughout the holiday period, providing continuity of support plus that little bit extra for our service users, at a time when it can be more difficult than usual to find the help that is needed.

We received several new referrals in the run up to Christmas, for people who would otherwise have had very little food, and we were able to make sure that they all received our support.

The year ahead is going to be a busy one for us at The Food Chain. We anticipate moving to our new premises and, as well as running all our usual services, we will be part of a vibrant community centre that includes a café, rooms that are regularly booked for events by public sector and community organisations, and a small gallery space – all of which will help us generate income that will be put directly back into the running of our charitable services. We are hopeful that this move will bring us both sustainable income, and new opportunities to develop our services in response to service users’ needs. It’s a very exciting prospect!

As part of our preparation for the move, and the changes it will mean for us, I would like to invite you along to a briefing meeting and Question & Answer session in the kitchen at Acorn House.

We have two dates in the diary for these meetings – Tuesday 13th February in the evening, between 6.30pm and 8pm or Saturday 24th February in the afternoon, between 3.00 pm and 4.30pm.

Everybody is welcome to attend these meetings, where we will share the information we have and discuss our ideas and future plans.

We don’t yet know the date of our move, as discussions are still underway, but we are expecting in will be in the Spring – a good time of year for new ventures!

I have now been in this role at The Food Chain for five years and can’t believe how quickly they have gone by! When I started, we were in our early days in the Acorn house kitchen and we were learning what that could mean for us. It has been hugely beneficial for us to be there, to develop our services and to see how the space can be used for fundraising events and other activities – and this is all learning that will stand us in good stead in our new venue. It has given us a very solid foundation from which to build, and has been a very important chapter in The Food Chain story.

As we approach our 30th anniversary this December, we will be writing the next chapter. I think we can all be proud that The Food Chain continues to develop and respond to the changing world we operate in, whilst always remaining true to our original purpose. We started out on Christmas Day 1988, providing a nourishing meal, prepared with love, for those in need because of their HIV status. On Christmas Day in 2018 we will be doing the same.

The need is still there, and we are still here.

So, however many twists and turns we encounter, our route is a clear one, and together we navigate it with purpose. I’ll enjoy seeing you along the way!