Service Update – Summer 2022
Our last Service Update was during the pandemic. Now that things are in full swing at Sufra again, we’ve decided to bring them back! Here’s what we have been up to so far in 2022.
Thanks to our generous supporters, the Food Bank service has continued to serve those in the local area in food poverty. The 3 food bank hubs and our delivery service have provided food to 15,425 recipients so far this year (Jan to August). Additionally, our NHS delivery service and Fresh Meal Service are running weekly.
Our new chef Jas has brought his international experience to Sufra’s kitchen. He prepares a range of exquisite dishes for our Fresh Meal delivery service. This service provides daily meals to those who do not have access to cooking facilities or are unable to cook for themselves due to physical or mental disabilities. News of Jas’ delicious meals has spread and we are seeing more homeless people turn up at the door for a hot meal.
In late 2021 we partnered with Granville to pilot our Community Kitchen at their site in Kilburn every Friday night from 6-8pm. It was so good to see all the happy smiling faces coming back indoors to enjoy a lovely 3 course sit down meal after such a long time. The pilot was so successful that it led to us not only making it a permanent fixture but opening a second one in in partnership with St Lawrence Larder in Willesden on Thursdays from 12-2pm (which has now closed temporarily). This is the first step in our dream of having daily kitchens operating all over Brent so that a free hot meal can be accessed everyday of the week.
The garden is alive with a cacophony of children enjoying the Summer Activities Programme. The club is aimed at 7-14 year olds who take part in fun outdoor activities and of course they get a yummy lunch too. This year’s Programme is funded by Social Farms
and Gardens who have a strong theme of sustainability. With this in mind, the children have been junk modelling; hand crafting and reusing anything they can. And amidst all this organised chaos Nick is busy harvesting amazing organic vegetables and reusing pond water to water our thirsty plants! To harvest your own produce from our garden and pay on a pay-as-you-feel-basis, come down on Saturdays from 11am-2pm (closed 1st Sept).
In sad news, our iconic tipi will be taken down at St. Raphael’s Edible Garden. Years of wear and tear have made it unsustainable… but fear not, it will be replaced with a lush new yurt (cool, right?) in due time.
Advice Services and Refugee Support:
In February this year we opened our Advice Drop-In Service alongside our Food Bank Service on Tuesdays and Thursdays so all our guests can access advice for any pressing issues while collecting their food parcels.
So far this year our Welfare Advice Service and Open ARMS programme has supported 122 guests with advice and case work and gained over £64,000 in additional income.
In April, we also launched our Open ARMS programme which restructured our existing refugee programme to incorporate specialist services tailored to Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Migrants with no recourse to public funds, which also runs a drop in service twice a week alongside the foodbank. Zena has used her years of experience of running the previous Refugee Resettlement Program to analyse the specific needs of this demographic and the changes the pandemic has made to them, resulting in this tailored service which can help the families and individuals rebuild dignified lives in the UK. This was showcased in Sufra’s first Supper Club where 3 ladies from the programme each cooked a 3 course meal from their culture and served them to a room full of paying guests who were blown away by the experience.
We now run Coffee Mornings for our Open ARMS guests each Friday at 11am where guests get to share treats such as Yemeni tea and Palestinian Musakhan. As always, email email@example.com to find out more.