It was a wonderful end to 2018 at The Food Chain.
The kitchen was full of festive spirit, and it was amazing on Christmas Day to reflect on 30 years of providing services for people living with HIV in London.
It is extraordinary to think of the thousands of people who have been part of the Food Chain story and the way in which people’s lives have changed for the good, whether as a service user, volunteer, staff member, trustee, friend, donor, supporter. It all adds up to one fantastic fact - The Food Chain makes a difference, and we are now looking forward to doing the same in 2019.
Happy new year everyone!
We will be staring the year with our annual Strategy Day in January, when the Trustees and I get together to take stock of the year that has passed and review our strategic aims for this and the coming years. 2018 wasn’t the easiest year for us in some ways – we had hoped to move into a new kitchen and community café at the start of the year but that turned out to be not possible for us. The funding climate also gets more and more and more difficult, and we are constantly looking for new opportunities and ways of building up our sustainability for the future.
Happily, there were some great new developments and partnerships formed during the year as well. Running the café at Positive East means we can provide affordable nutritious meals for more people living with HIV in London, and that any of our service users can still go along for a Food Chain meal, even after they have finished on service with us. Along with the Sunday meal prepared by our friends at this means we have more year-round opportunities for people to access delicious hot meals than ever before.
We also have more service users becoming volunteers for The Food Chain. The Volunteer Training and Support package for people making that transition is working our very well, with both our trainee volunteers and their mentors enjoying the experience and gaining a great deal from it.
So, there is much for us to think about and plan for in 2019 and beyond, including where we will move to when Acorn House is sold. We expect to make that move by the Autumn, so watch this space of news of where the next chapter of The Food Chain story will take us. It’s going to be an exciting year!