Be Enriched is a Tooting based charity which tackles pertinent social issues affecting the area. They host four community meals across South London that offer a welcoming, warm and safe environment for who wants to share a nutritious and delicious meal.
Utilising food that would have otherwise gone to waste, Be Enriched have partnered with local retailers to use surplus food to make free meals. They are mainly volunteer run and rely on the community spirit to provide support for many vulnerable people in Tooting and beyond. Aside from the practical side of providing healthy food, Be Enriched also offer social interaction, advice services, arts and crafts, games and a generally
comfortable and friendly space.
Sharon, a Wandsworth resident who has been coming to the Graveney Canteen lunch at the Tooting United Reform Church for two years says, “I always look forward to Friday lunch as I know it is one of the only times in my week that I’ll spend a couple of hours chatting to other people while eating food that is good for me and that I enjoy to eat!”
The meals aren’t just beneficial for guests either as volunteers often comment on the positive impact the social interaction has on them as well.
With a proven formula already in place, Be Enriched are now looking to be able to extend their work further. They are in need of their own space which would allow them to work beyond the four community meals every week and provide a more constant service for local people. They want to open a Community Hub that would continue their ethos of inclusivity and equality and would serve vegetarian, healthy meals, utilising surplus food, where guests would ‘pay as you feel’, this making it affordable. Alongside this, services would include support and advice to help alleviate people from poverty, affordable holistic services and unique events that would develop and enhance the community.
The hub will also offer training initiatives to young people and young offenders, providing them with kitchen experience and the relevant skills and references to go on to further employment. Similarly, many volunteer opportunities would be available for local people to get involved. The Be Enriched team said, “We have seen first-hand the loss of the sense of community in London, but also Tooting, so we’ve made it our mission to increase community involvement and create a welcoming environment for all. We have seen the need for something like this on our high street and want to make this dream a reality!”
You can help Be enriched by donating at https://mydonate.bt.com/events/community-can/406750. Find out more on their website at http://www.be-enriched.org.uk and on Twitter. You can contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07397 288 160.