January 11, 2016, by Kirsty McKeown

Could you feed 60 people a fresh hot meal for £50? Tasty Tuesdays in Lenton can! (with the help of their brilliant volunteers)

A guaranteed feel-good factor if you spend just a few minutes reading this blog about a local charity with a fantastic volunteer team providing a weekly hot meal for the community!

The Project

Tasty Tuesdays in Lenton is a weekly free meal for everyone in the community and has been running since summer 2014.  This project aims to bring people together from different communities. For people in financial difficulties it offers a filling, nutritious meal, food parcels, and signposting to support agencies and services.  For people experiencing loneliness or social isolation it can provide company, the chance to make friends, and a weekly social event to look forward to, in a welcoming and relaxed environment.

Amazingly, the project runs on a budget of just £50 per week feeding approximately 60 people at every meal.  Volunteers are vital, they cook and serve the meal, clear away and clean up afterwards, publicise the meal, and help to raise funds.

Local workers giving back

Mark Newton, City Manager from Unite Students recently took four members of his team along to Tasty Tuesdays in Lenton to spend an afternoon giving something back to the local community.  He said:

“None of us had done anything like this before and initially I think we were all uncertain what to expect. However, as soon as we got there we got stuck in and really enjoyed the experience.  We were made to feel really welcome and settled straight in to chopping vegetables and preparing the food for cooking. 

There were a number of different roles that we could carry out.  I helped the head chef, Ni, with the butternut squash risotto while the other guys prepared salads and got the tables ready  for the 6pm service.  There were other volunteers there as well and we all worked well together.  The atmosphere was fun and positive. 

The satisfaction that the food and personal interaction gave to the community was clear for all to see.  We are certainly looking at doing this again and we agreed we would take cakes next time as desserts seem to be really popular but aren’t a weekly occurrence”.

Tasty Tuesday's 2

Unite Students team in the Tasty Tuesdays kitchen

Volunteer and student involvement at Tasty Tuesdays

Fiona Corbett is the Forum Manager for the Dunkirk and Lenton Partnership Forum, a charitable organisation who are responsible for Tasty Tuesdays. After Unite Students helped at Tasty Tuesdays we spoke to Fiona and she said:

“The staff from Unite Students were fab!  They were helpful, friendly and we hope they enjoyed it.  We are hoping to see them back to volunteer in 2016 as we always need volunteers to keep the meals going.

About half of our regular volunteers are students.  They help with preparing the meals and also with our new befriending service.  We have also had students help us design our publicity, and one student has recently conducted some research on poverty in the area which will inform the future of Tasty Tuesdays.

What people sometimes don’t know is that we also feed students who are struggling and we are a good connector for lonely students or those who are new in the UK and want to make connections.  Part of the beauty of ‘TTL’ is the diversity of those attending and volunteering!” 

If this blog has inspired you to get involved, you can have a look at the website to find out more about the Partnership Forum and what they do http://dunkirklenton.weebly.com/ or have a look at their Facebook page www.facebook.com/tastytuesdaysinlenton/

If you want to register to take part in Tasty Tuesdays, or other projects taking place in the community, you can contact the Student Volunteer Centre volunteering@nottingham.ac.uk to make an appointment to find out more.

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