PureMalt and our Community
Our Community Kitchen exists to reduce social isolation for people of all ages and abilities by bringing together the local community of Haddington and Lammermuir to enjoy good hearty fresh food and allowing friendships to form. OCK runs from Haddington Bowling Club and has organically developed with attendees being elderly people, people living with Dementia, people with physical disabilities, people with life-long conditions/autism, wheelchair users, carers, people with a terminal diagnosis, and people who are visually impaired. We also work with our local Area Partnership around holiday hunger for pupils whos families are in receipt of a low income. Sometimes people bring their grandchildren and during the holiday period, we see more young people and single parents. We also have other space set aside within the Bowling Club for people who wish to have some quiet time during the lunchtime.
We normally bring up to 90 people together each week, however, we have stopped our usual way of working to respond to this horrendous coronavirus. We are still continuing to change people’s lives through food, but in a very different way. We desperately needed to respond to this crisis as each person who has previously come along and started forming friendships has now been forced to stay indoors, which can make them feel even more lonely than before. People tell us about the power of our good home-cooked food and how they feel loved and cared for, so we have changed what we were doing to ensure that those most vulnerable in our community are now delivered a free hot meal twice at home by many local people who are currently volunteering. We are preparing, cooking and delivering up to 200 meals per week and we have trained our volunteers to do kindness calls for people at home, which is helping greatly in terms of people feeling less anxious, isolated, and lonely. We are planning to organise picnics in the local park or other areas we can sit outside during the next few months, weather permitting, and we are hoping to purchase camping stools for our participants and volunteers. We understand by speaking with some people we deliver food to that the extreme isolation and loneliness due to COVID-19 is impacting people’s mental health and we want to be there for people, helping when they most need it. We are commissioning someone to do some market research that will help us determine how people are feeling, what they need help with, and the challenges they are experiencing. We would like to know what it would take for some people to come back around the table in a safe way, eventually and their responses will determine what we do.
Haddington Rugby Football Club has a proud history. We are delighted to have PureMalt as our primary sponsor, particularly with their strong industrial heritage within the town.
Building rugby teams is multi-faceted. The support that PureMalt provides to Haddington RFC enables us to ensure that our senior teams have strips to wear, that we can ensure adequate changing facilities to members of all ages and genders, as well as for community clubs and schools. PureMalt has enabled us to ensure that the next crop of players is developed by enabling coaches to be accredited, as well as providing funding for our Youth Development Officer.
The difference PureMalt has had on the club is not only based upon financial investment. PureMalt has become a part of the Haddington RFC family. Whether attending games, or by recognising success by selecting and presenting “Man of the Match” awards, PureMalt has always shown a keen interest in the success of the club. We look forward to this continuing long into the future, with Haddington RFC and PureMalt remaining at the heart of the community.
Haddington Athletic is the local Football Club in the town of Haddington. The Club currently has around 270 players, with around 70 volunteers, who are either Coaches or Committee members. The Club has a development pathway for players, from 5 year olds in our Soccer School, through to adults in the 1st Team. We have boys’ and girls’ Youth teams, playing 7, 9 & 11-a- side football, in both the Edinburgh and East Lothian Leagues. The 1st Team play in the East of Scotland League and have recently been accepted for a Full Licence, by the SFA, which will enable them to play in the Scottish Cup.
The Youth teams play out of the fantastic facility at Whittingehame Drive, which includes a Pavilion and floodlit 3G all weather pitch. The 1st Team are based at Millfield, on the enclosed floodlit grass pitch.
Pure Malt have generously sponsored our 2009 Youth team since 2019, purchasing home and away kits for the team. This has been a huge help to the team financially and we fully appreciate the support that our neighbours at Pure Malt provide.
APRIL 2021 UPDATE
Our Community Kitchen feel positive as restrictions begin to ease in Scotland between April and May. Children are already back to their school and enjoying the use of their new community garden. OCK expect that local people and many participants will also be able to return to enjoy it shortly.
Arriving soon are outdoor taps, a sink, an oven, seat covers and a greenhouse, all due to be installed. This is a very exciting time for all involved in this project as it is a key milestone in the development of this area. Less than three weeks remain before the first planting will begin.
Meanwhile within the charity regular meal deliveries continue, however, these have changed from Tuesday and Thursday to Tuesday and Wednesday. The shared facility of the bowling club has recently re-opened which provides the charity members with positivity. OCK are now able to welcome back 10 returning members on Thursdays and Fridays. These individuals will be welcomed back through the use of social distancing, temperature sensors and the track and trace system.
In other news the charity's first newsletter has been published outlining their statistics of meals prepared and kindness calls.
These are very significant landmarks for the charity and they hope to grow upon these in the near future.
It is very positive to see some members of OCK are feeling confident to return again, however, other members may feel the fear of Covid-19 is still strong.
Finally another 50/50 club draw is just round the corner, last month the charity received £265 in funds and one winner received £265 in cash. OCK hope the prize pot will continue to grow and encourage individuals to sign up to support the charity.
MARCH 2021 UPDATE
Donations have made this garden project possible. Donations have been provided by: Easy PC Haddington, Rotary, Haddington Wines and Whiskies, Joe Forty Sports, John Thompson (OCK member), Haddington Development Trust, Mungoswells, East Lothian Police, Police Scotland, Climate Challenge Fund, HadFab, Leemac, PureMalt, EDF Energy and Walk with Scott Foundation.
The project would not be possible without the dedication and craftsmanship of Stephano (project manager) and Rab (local community member) supported by a number of local volunteers who have provided invaluable support to this project.
The project progresses well with all planters now filled and the benches are now ready to be used offering seating to the school and the community members.
Images below: (Left to right: Planters completed and filled, Stephano testing the benches and Rab under the archway)
The next step is to install an outdoor tap and sink. In addition to this the green house is due to be delivered shortly.
The charity hope to hold an opening day in June (restrictions depending) to celebrate the completion of the project. On the opening day the community will be able to observe plaques demonstrating the community support provided to the project
The charity hope to welcome members to the bowling club 2 days a week in May based on the new restrictions. They are currently still delivering meals to their members 2 days a week locally and provide a very well received social kindness call to check in with their members.
Andy McBain through Haddington Rugby Club has provided chocolate eggs for all members and volunteers. The OCK initiative the 50/50 club is evidently very successful as they have sold over 106 entries to local community members supporting the charity. Their first draw will be announced soon.
FEBRUARY 2021 UPDATE
This month PureMalt have got hands on in their support of Our Community Kitchen. As the garden project gathers momentum PureMalt team members Henry and Simon volunteered to pick up tools to support with the construction of the garden project. With their assistance progress had been made on the construction of a planter, an archway and the base structure for a second larger planter.
Images below: (Left to right: Henry, Simon, 1st planter)
Images below: (left to right: archway, base structure of 2nd planter)
Our Community Kitchen has progressed quickly with this project, since construction began in December 2020 the project nears its close now as we approach the end of February. The project has been made possible by the support and considerable donations form a local community member John Thompson and a number of local businesses: Lemac, Had-Fab, Haddington Community Development Trust, Rotary, Torness Nuclear Power Station, Climate Change Fund, Joe Forte Sports, Haddington Wine and Whiskies, ESPC, Walk with Scott Foundation and PureMalt have all contributed in their own ways in order to provide the community with this initiative. As we report on the activities of the OCK garden all planters are now built and construction of tables, benches and the foundations for the kitchen are taking place. The tables will cater to seat 30 people, whilst the kitchen will provide an area for cooking demonstrations to take place as well as a hub of activity within the community. The charity have plans to develop this garden further through the installation of greenhouses in this area.
Images below: (left to right: multiple planters finished, tables built, table close up)
OCK hope to invite the school pupils to join in finishing off the project by encouraging them to pick up buckets and fill their planters with soil for the growing project ahead.
Whilst the work on the garden is in progress the charity have continued their mission of tackling isolation by distributing hot meals to isolated members of the community, continuing their kindness calls to open communication with their members as well as carrying out window visits from their team. OCK have encouraged their members to communicate with each other during the lockdown this has resulted in poems written by the charities' members being distributed and one member has taken to knitting knee blankets to send to other members of their community.
A 50/50 club has also been launched by OCK, this fundraising activity will raise money for the charity through monthly entries to win the prize-pot which will be shared 50% to the charity and 50% to the winner.
DECEMBER 2020/JANUARY 2021 UPDATE
During December, Our Community Kitchen continued their mission of tackling isolation in the local area by delivering hot meals to isolated members of the local community. On Christmas day, assisted by Santa Claus, festive volunteers committed to preparing and delivering hot meals and seasonal goodies from the local bowling club.More information on this from OCK’s feature in the East Lothian Courier available here: https://www.eastlothiancourier.com/news/18998819.community-kitchen-volunteers-delivered-christmas-dinners-gifts/
As the new year commenced Our Community Kitchen have shared with us exciting news of their latest project. OCK are working on developing a community garden in partnership with Knox Academy School and Meadowpark School Haddington.
OCK hope the garden project supports their mission of tackling isolation. It is hoped this will be achieved through planting, growing and cooking homegrown produce from the garden. This plan will involve not only the members of OCK but also the pupils from the school and the wider community, providing a platform for developing friendships and connections.
OCK hopes to plant and grow a selection of fruits, vegetables and herbs. A greenhouse, vertical gardens, an outdoor kitchen and polytunnels are all planned for the garden. This will provide suitable growing conditions for a broad range of produce. The outdoor kitchen will allow cooking demonstrations to take place, encouraging participation from the community.
This garden will function as a hub for the community, hosting a plethora of activities scheduled to take place throughout the year.
There has been a strong focus on this project recently, due to its outdoor nature, allowing work to continue safely within the garden during the covid-19 restrictions. OCK are very grateful for the support they have received from the community, local organisations and local businesses.
This photograph shows the progress on the project so far, OCK estimate they are less than 1 week away from the completion of the decking.
The exciting next stage is for the planters to be built, with support from some members of Team PureMalt.
OCK continue their regular activities of preparing, cooking and delivering hot meals across the community and making their kindness calls to keep in touch with their members over the telephone. They have also received positive feedback mentioning how friendly the delivery drivers have been in providing this service, with a simple smile making a significant improvement to someone’s day.
OCK hope that as covid-19 restrictions begin to ease they will be able to welcome their members back to the bowling club, gather round the table for a chat and a hot meal.
NOVEMBER 2020 UPDATE
OCTOBER 2020 UPDATE
Our Community Kitchen has shared their latest video with us, watch here to learn more about what they are doing, why they are doing it and how they have supported the community during Covid-19.
HRFC return to the pitch in line with the SRU guidelines issued on the 20th of August here
Haddington Athletic return to training