Behind this door something special lurks

May 24, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

It may look like an ordinary door for an ordinary commercial unit in an ordinary industrial estate but I can testify that behind this door lurks an extraordinary team of talented people providing an amazing service to Ayrshire communities.

It was my pleasure to spend a day with them recording the work they do and the teamwork required to do it.

If you are familiar with the name Centrestage you will already know of their reputation for amazing professionally run theatre productions, promoting and nurturing talent and their goals for bringing our Ayrshire communities together all through their slogan of Fun, Food, Folk! They do so much more and more of their project work can be found on their CS Communities Website.


















But wait a minute, read the slogan again! Fun, Food, Folk! You may know about the fun part and the folk part but what has food got to do with it?

Working in some of the most deprived areas of North and East Ayrshire through their community involvement with the ethos of fostering individual and community wellbeing, the CS Communities teams realised that there was a real need for a dignified food provision programme. When they had the initial idea and predicted that maybe around 40,000 meal portions would be required for the first year, I don't think they would have been expecting that after the first 10 months of operating they would have delivered over 140,000 portions!

So behind that ordinary door one of the CS Communities teams of extremely busy and talented people work each day in a well equipped industrial kitchen to provide a very high volume of quality meals for distribution throughout the Ayrshire communities. What is hard believe is that they produce these high quality meals working with a larder of food that supermarkets have gifted them. Food that the supermarket has either overstocked and they need the space for some other products, or it can't be sold in time before sell by dates expire. High quality food that would have otherwise been consigned to land fill. In this day and age we take so much for granted and waste so much without a thought.

What is remarkable is how they can produce these meals with very little planning. They can't function like a conventional restaurant or kitchen because they have no idea what food will be delivered when the truck pulls up with a load. Every day is a new menu day for them dictated by what arrives in the back of the delivery truck.

But what happens to these meals after they leave the kitchen? Enter the CS Communties bus. An old double decker bus that has been refitted out with a mobile kitchen to demonstrate how to cook the meals and upstairs is dedicated to a soft play area and an office. What Works Scotland have completed a research report on Centrestage and instead of me repeating much of what is in the report please take a few minutes to read using the links below. I find it really sad that today, in my own community, so many families are going days without food and it is so heartening that Centrestage are doing this work to ensure that no child should be denied a meal.

My great thanks to my models for the day; Craig, Colin, Clare, Alan, Garry and Lindsay.

I'm immensely proud to give my time to Centrestage for this project. It's a completely humbling experience and they never cease to amaze me, particularly with this project. Wonderful people making a difference! Remember #funfoodfolk #notafoodbank #payitforward #catalystcommunities #dignity #Ayrshire @CentrestageMT

CS Communities CS Communities CS Communities CS Communities CS Communities CS Communities CS Communities


Further reading

Learning from a Theatre Group that provides food with dignity

Fun, Food, Folk: The Centrestage approach to dignified food provision - Summary

Fun, Food, Folk: Full Report




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