Mindful of recent reports, events and energy, I though it might be appropriate to share some ideas we’ve been thinking about / developing or are involved in at The Exchange.
We set up a community-led arts project with a strong commitment to using our skills and talents to effect positive change and create new opportunities in the area. We have always had a commitment to highlighting the good things that are happening in the area. Something that we feel Monday night was a good example of! After outgrowing our venue some time ago the seeds of what is now our ‘Steeple For The People’ campaign began to grow. We’re working towards developing a high quality creative community space in the church that blends all levels of creative activity, along with facilities for emerging enterprise with activities and events that add value to community life.
A core part of our plans are to develop a community run cafe, a tool / resource library, a creative studio full of arts equipment and space for start up creative or community enterprises. There are three core principles here; bringing people together, providing space for a range of positive and sustainable community led activity along with enabling the sharing of skills and resources.
Given much of recent conversations looking at food and healthy eating. Its seems relevant to mention how we’re proposing to set up pop up versions of some of these facilities, especially the cafe ahead of having the venue. Very much as a means of providing much needed space and resources that can support a wide range of possibilities in to reality.
West End Kitchen Collective:
We’ve recently placed a bid (won’t hear until April) to start this ball rolling. This would involve pulling together a core group of you foodies, we have several people interested already and working towards setting up soon, with a view to, in time, being a cooperative social enterprise of it's own. Our concept was to start with some community meals and some catering for local events, using kitchens that are available in the area already for food prep. Then all being well (funding required) we'll buy an old van and convert it into a mobile catering unit / cafe. Flexible enough to go to festivals and generate some income occasionally, create a pop up cafe area at any event. But ultimately, offer a means for people to learn catering skills, business skills and provide good food affordably, anywhere.
This would be about working together, enabling people to contribute as much or as little as they can and crucially, be their own bosses. collectively.
We're keen to try offering food on a pay what you feel basis on regular occasions. We have even wondered about the catering van travelling around as you might expect an ice cream van to, playing a jingle and serving hot food around the area. Who knows, anything is possible if we put our minds to it.
A date for your diary if you you want to get involved -
Wednesday 24th January (5:30 - 8pm).