The Food Co-op project has been running since February 2010 and we have opened 8 projects within East Durham to date. Our goal is to open 10 by March 2012.
The aims are to assist local community groups to set up and develop a sustainable food project at their venue, to re-introduce fresh produce, local when available, to areas of East Durham where there are no current provisions or where their client base live in social or geographical isolation.
We work closely with each group to help them reach their personal goals and objectives relating to their specific target customer. Assistance on promotion and book keeping is available as well as community engagement around healthy eating through our ‘Eat Seasonably Challenge’ and free taster sessions.
We promote acceptance of ‘HEALTHY START VOUCHERS’ in all our venues and work with our local PCT to bring FREE cookery classes to the venue to help people gain a better understanding of cookery and nutrition.
We offer our volunteers opportunities to learn a wide variety of new skills and gain qualifications which will benefit them long term. Several have been accepted onto work placements within the project venues and one, so far, has gained a job with their venue as a ‘Food development co-ordinator’.
If you would like to visit one of our Food Co-operatives you can find us at:
Haswell Mencap – Thursday and Friday 11am-2pm
Shotton Community Centre – Wednesdays and Thursdays 10:30am - 2pm
St Mary's Church Hall, Horden - Wednesdays 10am-12pm
Hawthorn Community Centre – 1st and 3rd Thurday each month 11am to 2pm
The Glebe Centre Murton - Every fortnight on a Thursday from 11am (26th January, 9th February, 23rd February and so on)
If you would like to speak to us regarding the possibility of opening your own food co-op or would like to discuss the possibility of volunteering at a venue, please contact Vikkie Wilkinson on 0191 5693511
The Food Co-op is supported through NHS County Durham.