We have formally launched the Come Eat Together Practitioners’ Network. This forum which will meet twice a year and will help us to share information, expertise and ideas to best support the organisations involved in providing the activities that bring people together with food.
Our first meeting was held in Durham and was attended by representatives who provide transport, catering, venues and support.
The Network was launched by Harriet Gibbon, Chief Executive of Age UK County Durham who welcomed everyone. Sara Collins the Project Coordinator gave a presentation outlining the progress of the project to date and some of the future plans. Key highlights of the year include winning the National Lottery Award for Best Health Project 2014 and the award for Innovation in the Field of Community Learning from One Awards for our Healthy Eating for Older People course. One of our groups of learners also won highly commended Community Learning Group of the Year (there will be a blog about that shortly). We are currently making some new films and we had a special screening of a new film about our shopping clubs which had everyone enthralled!
A lively and enthusiastic discussion gave everyone the opportunity to share ideas about the project and explore how the network can benefit them. Dave and Susie from County Durham Police told us “We were thrilled to hear some very positive feedback about the benefits of PCSO’s attending some Come Eat Together activities. We now have details of some new sessions they can attend. We are encouraging the members of this network to tell us about positive feedback as it really motivates the police officers.”
Sheila from Bishop Auckland College told us “We are keen to do more with the project and I have enjoyed the meeting. I am going back to my colleagues with plenty of ideas about new opportunities to share!”
Joyce (pictured left with Sonia) from Tanfield Lea Community Centre which has recently launched their lunch club told us “We love our new lunch club and we are looking forward to the Healthy Eating course starting in April. We are also working with you to arrange shopping online sessions. I’ve loved being able to sit and chat over a cuppa with Sonia from Nanas Ladles who provides the catering for our lunch club.”
Ian from Shildon Community Bus told us “I was delighted to see our minibus promoted in your film about the shopping clubs. I’ve been able to share information with members relating to community safety and working with communities”.
Our next meetings will be early summer and late autumn. We have been thrilled with the positive feedback from this meeting and look forward to our next meeting!