16/11/2021 What’s cooking? A visit to Thrive Haringey

What’s cooking? A visit to Thrive Haringey

What could be more nourishing than chicken ramen cooked by children from a Haringey estate, where it wasn’t just the flavours that mattered, but the connections and sheer joy?

On a cold Friday, what could be more nourishing than chicken ramen? How about chicken ramen cooked by children from an estate in Haringey, where it wasn’t just the flavours that mattered, but the connections, community, and sheer enjoyment? 

The work that the National Academy for Social Prescribing do matters. But often we only see how much when we spend time with the people who are engaging in social prescribing activities and programmes. A recent  visit to the Bridge Renewal Trust to hear about  their programmes, Geoffrey Ocen, Chief Executive, explained what they had been doing with their funding. 

“The financial support from National Academy for Social Prescribing has enabled us to work with our delivery partners and marginalised communities to co-produce and deliver creative and practical ways to tackle health inequalities.” 

The highlight was a trip to the Community Hut on the Tiverton Estate, one of the most deprived neighbourhoods in Haringey, to see what children from the estate were rustling up for dinner. 

It was a delight to see the joy that young people from primary and secondary schools in the area got from spending time together, having conversations, and building skills by cooking a delicious meal. The chatter bounced, multiple languages ricocheted around the room, and everyone was engaged and enjoying their time together. The meal was designed to be low cost and simple, so that it can be part of the menu at home on a regular basis. 

Finding out what matters 

The project has been challenging for delivery partners the Bridge Renewal Trust, juggling COVID-19, tight budgets, and overstretched link workers. The communities they work with are often socially deprived.  Finding meaningful ways to support people is at the heart of their work. In early lockdown, the Trust did a project to support home schooling by providing laptops and participation increased from 4% to 98%!  

The Bridge Renewal Trust received £50,000 from the Thriving Communities Fund. This has been used to develop a rich programme of activities covering arts, culture, heritage, financial wellbeing, physical activity, and green spaces and nature. The ambitious plan has stretched them, but to great success, and the strategy they developed now underpins their future activity. 

They are running projects themselves and acting as seed funders for existing projects and groups who already have relationships with communities. By building rich networks, they can engage with people in a way that suits them. 

NASP exists to help people live the best lives they can. It is organisations like the Bridge Renewal Trust who make it happen. 

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