Sheppey Matters

Sheppey Matters was established on 1994 with a mission to promote good health for residents of the Isle of Sheppey. By helping beneficiaries to gain access to understanding of healthy eating and exercise. From this, Sheppey Matters has wanted to improve their outreach and move forward into running roadshows to promote healthy eating with the community and showing families the positive effects of healthy eating and how easy it is to produce good quality food on a budget. They began this mission in 2010 and have been working with children’s centres and schools to promote their cause. 

The grant given by The Minerva Fund helped the project gain a chef to run the food truck and cookery lessons in the local community and schools, it brought advice to the local children’s doorsteps and gave them the chance to learn a new skill while creating nutritious and delicious food. The grant gave coverage for other areas including the produce used as well as the utensils, so that all who attended were equipped with the right items to complete their cookery, but also a helpful recipe card to take with them to produce the meal once again at a later date. The events that were held due to the grant gave close to 2,900 portions of inspired snacks, salads, dips, sandwich fillings and family meals to the youngsters to help them understand and improve their eating habits. 

Sheppey Matters Sheppey Matters

“The funding has enabled us to get to just about anywhere. We've been in fields, woods, parks, street corners and the heart of local residential areas in desperate need of proper engagement. School playgrounds have been lit up by a flurry of activity and MOST importantly, the funding has highlighted a creative and unique approach to the bigger issue of health across Swale. We have placed children at the centre of all activity and given them the time, tools, knowledge and skills to confidently produce first class food for their families and friends. We've shared advice, guidance, tips and tricks together with recipe ideas and we've done it 'face-to-face'. “– Chef leading the project. 

“I only hope my mum doesn't go and buy another kebab tonight!" - One child said on the Radio4 Food and Farming Awards broadcast who took part in the project.

Case study: David (Project volunteer)

As a former resident at the Quays hostel in Sittingbourne, David has found the transition back into independent living earlier this year challenging and there was always the danger of social isolation for him having spent a full two years at the hostel amongst a small community. The funding enabled the project to invite David, as a volunteer helper, onto most of the summer Food Truck outings. David has said, in conversation, that each trip out was something he looked forward to in so far as it provided a sense of structure to those days he was with us. He went on to point out that community work was very much something he would wish to focus on in the near future. At the same time, David has a life-long condition that he battles with most days. Activity of the right type and at the right level provides David with appropriate access to physical exercise which is very much part of his ongoing physiotherapy. So, indirectly, the Comic Relief funding has done much for David in terms of his personal development and wellbeing. He is a more confident home cook and can manage what budget he has more effectively.

In summary:

David now has a better grasp on his life and is more likely to be successful because of this sense of 'balance'. We have been able to provide David with detailed feedback and there is available video evidence showing him in action. He has developed a great way with young children and adults alike. His ability to communicate with comparative strangers in a public setting has really come on. David is now much nearer to the employment market and has extended his CV well whilst volunteering during this period of funded work.