About

The Liberty Cookhouse is a ‘do good’ initiative of Liberty Programmes,  a Cooperative Community Interest Company. We operate exclusively for community benefit rather than the benefit of shareholders, so profits are invested in doing more good.

We believe that everyone deserves an equal chance to fulfil their potential, but refugees, people with multiple complex needs, and others can often get a raw deal in society. A combination of exploitation, vicious circles, discrimination and mistrust work against many people struggling to find good work, effectively removing opportunities to fulfil their best potential.

We also believe that there are very many barriers preventing local people from starting their own food based businesses. This robs society of huge benefits and drains people of drive and passion.

The Cookhouse is a project that we hope can address some of these challenges. We’re working on it in our own time and pro-bono. Luckily, we have others helping us, so we’re making pretty good progress so far.

We like to do good, have fun, create and learn. If that sounds like an attractive approach to life to you, then use the contact form to ask any questions, or to get involved in the project. I’m also very happy to meet up with you and chat informally.

The challenges in seeking to make a real and lasting difference through this project are many. Nevertheless, we’re willing to try because we’re all stupid/smart enough to believe we can change things for the better together!

We’d really welcome your support.

Best wishes

Dave Conroy – Chair, Steering Group

How can we change things?

  • By offering a step on the ladder for people who need it.
  • By providing employment opportunities for those most in need of them.
  • By providing a space where small food-based businesses incubate and grow.
  • By investing in people when no one else will.

What is the plan?

  • We will create a community kitchen/food incubator, The Liberty Cookhouse.
  • We will employ those who find it hardest to get a job and give them experience and support.
  • We will create a business model that has enough flexibility to cope with language barriers and works around personal circumstances.
  • We will partner with food businesses who share our values and want to provide genuine careers.

About the business itself

  • The kitchen will be fully specified, able to cope with the toughest demands, and able to provide people with real-world experience rather than ‘just another course’.
  • Jobs will be available working in the kitchen directly, running the business, and running businesses from the kitchen.
  • Space will be available to hire for people with food-based businesses, for example street food vendors and small-scale manufacturers, who need the benefits of a proper kitchen for small periods of time.
  • We will run, and help others run, businesses from the space, for example, bread and cake making early morning, sandwich delivery to offices/factories during the day or pizza delivery in the evening.
  • We will sweat the space and ensure it’s used to its full potential and pays its own way.

Here’s a short video of a pitch we made at The Impact Hub Birmingham, seeking support for The Liberty Cookhouse

Steering group

A project as ambitious as the Cookhouse needs a strong and capable steering group and other voluntary helpers behind it. These are all local people willing to work hard together to bring the ideas to fruition and with the skills, experience and connections necessary.

If you want to be involved in any way, then please send me an email dave@libertycookhouse.org.uk Just copy and paste these 4 questions and then supply your own answers.

Shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. We can then suggest some tasks that you might like to consider as your contribution to making things happen:

  1. Tell me just three things you would want to get out of your involvement in the Liberty Cookhouse
  2. Tell me up to three skills/interests you can contribute (we need everything, big and very small contributions are welcome!!)
  3. Tell me the one big thing that would really satisfy you from your involvement
  4. Tell me would you rather work alone or as part of a small team (we can arrange tasks to fit people’s preferences and/or circumstances)

We currently have a very diverse group of people offering their time on a voluntary basis:

 

Help us

What do we need?

It now looks like we have secured space in an excellent location to create a large kitchen and associated training and meeting areas and on very favourable terms too. That is a huge obstacle removed.

These images shows parts of the proposed space, ripe for conversion – effectively a blank canvas!

We still urgently need money, equipment and extra skills. In particular, we need people able to volunteer their help with financial planning, accountancy, PR & marketing, and beneficiary and funder research. One-off assistance or longer term equally welcome.

We also have a growing number of people supporting the idea and tho at the moment they are not necessarily inputting practically we hope that as the project moves forward then additional tasks will become available for these people to help with.

We have a Facebook Group which anyone can join – it’s a good way to keep up to date with what’s happening and, if you want to, to get involved. Here’s a quick cross section of people who’ve joined …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to access our Facebook Group

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