I first heard Sharon Goodyer talking about this “big plan” for Our Kitchen a couple of years ago. I thought it was a great ambition but wondered if she could succeed. It was daunting. Well, I didn’t know Sharon then as well as I know her now! She is a force of nature.
Sharon has put incredible effort into getting the Our Kitchen project off the ground in Thanet. With her team of volunteers she has opened local amenities during the summer holidays as places where families can come and enjoy great fresh food. With around one third of school children in Thanet entitled to free school meals, Sharon is aware of the struggle families can face when school dining halls close for the summer.
Cllr Barry Lewis and myself were only too happy to offer support for Our Kitchen from our members grants of £5k each, but we have become more involved than that. We are volunteers on a regular basis.
I help Ramsgate locals, Steve Albon and Theresa Smith to collect and serve up meals at St Christopher’s Church Hall in Newington. I’m the district councillor there. It’s one of Kent’s poorest wards, so it’s fantastic to be able to offer some great food.
During term time the local school ensures all children are well fed. Summer Kitchen addresses a gap over the holidays, plus it’s high quality fresh and nutritious. I love chatting to the kids and their parents.
Next steps? To carry on supporting Sharon and get door to door delivery! If anyone can do it – she can!
BBC South East Today reported live from the school in Margate on Wednesday 8th August. Their footage shows the kitchen in full swing and some satisfied customers at one of the Summer Kitchen sessions.