November 2017 has seen St James’ Church, West End, become the proud owner of a brand new, state of the art kitchen for the church hall.
The Warm Welcome Project was created in 2017 with the aim of redeveloping the kitchen to allow meals for around 50 people to be prepared and served. The premise behind this is to allow us to help build community and make a place of welcome for all, especially amongst those who are isolated and lonely. Ultimately, we hope that a drop in café will be open to all, allowing people of all ages to find a warm welcome.
We are grateful for a grant from Biffa Award to refurbish the hall kitchen in support of our Warm Welcome Project. Biffa Award is a multi-million pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to community and environmental projects across the UK. The money comes from landfill tax credits donated by Biffa Group Ltd, and the fund is managed by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT), which has been awarding Biffa Award grants since 1997. For further information, please see http://www.biffa-award.org/
The grant covered the cost of removal of the old kitchen, upgrade of utilities, decoration and the installation of the new kitchen units - including two ovens, two gas hobs, a dishwasher, fridge/freezer, warming cupboard, microwave, and water heater (for tea/coffee etc.) - along with new flooring, wiring and plumbing.
In addition to Biffa Award, we are also very grateful to Councillor Bruce Tennent. He awarded us £850 (from his County Councillor Community Fund) towards the cookers. A further £6,000 has been allocated by the Parochial Church Council from the existing hall funds.
A steel grey, the smart, practical new kitchen will enable St James' to continue to provide a much-needed community venue in West End.
In addition to the funds mentioned above, we are delighted that we have been awarded almost £22,000 by Veolia towards our Warm Welcome Project. This money is being used to support the kitchen work by making the hall a more welcoming and pleasant building.
The Veolia Environmental Trust was established in 1997 under the Landfill Communities Fund. They support a wide range of community and environmental projects throughout England and Wales. The money we use for grants is made available through the Fund.
Finally, there was a small shortfall in our funding for the kitchen refurbishment and so we are very fortunate that HCC (Hampshire County Council, Community Buildings Capital Fund) have awarded us £2,800 for this.