Samira, Denise and Debbie are the three women running Barton Hill Sunday Kitchen. Every Sunday, the local community kitchen provides hundreds of meals to families in need.
Now these women are being awarded a Lord Mayor’s Medal in recognition of their work at the Sunday Kitchen.
Barton Hill volunteers rewarded
The Lord Mayor award, now in its 38th year, salutes individuals for their volunteering efforts.
In the past year, the efforts of volunteers in our communities were vital as they supported those most affected by the pandemic.
Barton Hill locals Samira, Denise and Debbie were no different. Nested in Cafe Conscious, a community cafe in the heart of Barton Hill, they’ve been collecting food donations, cooking 200+ hot meals every week and distributing them to vulnerable families and individuals.
Denise, who owns Cafe Conscious nearly missed the repeated calls from the Lord Mayor’s office to tell them the news. With a number left behind, she called back and was surprised and delighted to hear about their award.
“We’re really grateful and feel blessed that people took the time to nominate us”, Denise says.
“We didn’t expect it but we’re thankful that people considered us.”
How the Barton Hill Sunday Kitchen started
But just a few months back there was no Barton Hill Sunday Kitchen at all. In fact, it all started from a casual conversation on a cold November afternoon. Stuart and Debra, a local Newtown campaigner were chatting at Cafe Conscious.
Denise overheard them talk about free food kitchens and then joined their conversation. She shared that day-in day-out she and other locals saw first-hand how the pandemic hit the Barton hill community, already one of the most deprived areas in Bristol, predating COVID-19. Job losses and families unable to afford decent meals were some of the widespread issues exacerbated by the pandemic.
Stuart and Debbie agreed and with enough food donations available that same week Debbie, Denise and Samira opened the first Sunday Kitchen – serving 40 hot meals.
Food donations help Sunday Kitchen grow stronger
Five months later, they are serving 200+ free hot meals every Sunday and growing and now thanks to the Lord Mayor’s Award they received recognising their efforts are also shining.
While welcoming the award, Samira, who runs Barton Hill Activity Club, says the real reward is actually doing the work and seeing the tangible difference they make in people’s lives every week gifting a decent meal.
Can you help Sunday Kitchen feed more families in need?
It’s food donations from places like Bristol Sweet Mart, Pak Butchers and Fareshare that make Barton Hill Sunday Kitchen possible.
Sunday Kitchen is always looking for food donations – unopened food with long shelf life.
Get in touch with the Sunday Kitchen team at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop off food at Cafe Conscious between 11am – 2pm on Sundays (address below).
Do you need a meal?
Where: Cafe Conscious, 182 Avonvale Rd, Redfield, Bristol BS5 9SX
When: Sundays 2-4PM
Come along or contact Sunday Kitchen team at email@example.com
Can you help us collect food boxes?
Get in touch with Denise: firstname.lastname@example.org