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Cookery Boost for Families in Temporary Accommodation

Thanks to funding from the Northfield and Edgbaston Emergency Assistance & Supplies Fund, BCHC Charity has been able to provide food and cooking equipment such as slow cookers, recipe books and cutlery to families residing in hotels across Birmingham.

Slow Cooker Event 01
Preparing food for the slow cooker

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an influx of homeless families to hotels across the city. Over 160 families are currently housed in hotels in Edgbaston alone; large families of 5 or more sharing one room and four kitchens in one hotel. Birmingham Forward Steps approached BCHC Charity with the idea of providing a means for families to cook healthy, nutritious meals for their children, whilst learning new and affordable recipes.

Specialist Health Visitor for Homeless Families Genine Williams explains the idea behind the project; “It came about really by speaking to families that I would go and see, looking at the nutrition given to their children and hearing how they were struggling preparing food living in temporary accommodation”, she says. “That’s where the idea of the slow cookers came from; one pot cooking, where you don’t have to be an expert but it’s something that each and every family can do.”

On Wednesday 26th May, a hugely successful launch event was held at the Cobden Hotel on Hagley Road to begin giving out the slow cookers, books and cutlery, as well as holding demonstrations on healthy eating and cookery tips, recipes, and other fun activities led by Startwell. Families were also able to learn more about a 

Get in Touch

If you have any queries about charitable funds or would like more information about supporting the charity or fundraising, please contact:

Charity Team Email: 
BCHC.charity@bhamcommunity.nhs.uk 
Tel: 0121 466 7314

Slow Cooker Event 02

new food club at the hotel created by Family Action. Community Engagement Worker for Edgbaston from Barnardo’s Children’s Charity (a partner in the Birmingham Forward Steps Service), Lorraine Lane, describes how the slow cookers will make a difference to these families; “A lot of people are stretching to find money…we are giving them the skills and knowledge to be able to provide healthy meals that are sustainable.”

Genine went on to say “It empowers families, which is so encouraging to see. Kids have been involved throwing food into the slow cookers, having fun and being involved in healthy activities, so it’s been a great day of partnership working and everyone coming together.”

BCHC Charity would like to offer our sincere thanks to both the Northfield and Edgbaston Emergency Assistance & Supplies Fund for their kind donation, and to the Cobden Hotel’s Operational Manager Tom Watkins, whose help and support ensured a successful launch event.