Staff and volunteers are working hard transforming what was previously the Ellon Parish Kirk Centre Coffee Shop and upgrading other spaces in the Kirk Centre.
With a new vision for a ‘Community larder, café, shop & spaces’ this will be a place for everyone. As part of this Ellon Parish Church were successful in securing £4K of Co-op Hubbub Community Fridge funding.
Co-op’s Ellon member pioneer Barbara Last popped along to meet with Parish Worker Nicola Bruce and Administrator & Project Volunteer Edith Walker from Ellon Parish Church to find out what this funding means for their project.
They said: “Our heart is for this project to be holistically beneficial to folks allowing access to affordable food, donating and purchasing pre-loved items, enabling folks to reduce food waste swop shopping their own surplus as well as surplus supplied from local shops (including Co-op’s FoodShare scheme, Tesco, Bare & Newburgh Costcutter) and enjoying the café which also uses local surplus.
"We’re encouraging circular economy, caring for our world and strengthening community spirit with many volunteering opportunities.
“The Kirk Centre Project is our response to the current increases in cost of living and the toll lockdowns have had on wellbeing and community.
"We’re moving from crisis to resilience so the project will be a place to find what you need and access it with dignity alongside everyone else be it food, basics, gifts, a chat, fairly-traded cuppa or local info such as local support agencies, groups or businesses. All are welcome.
“It’s a team effort moving things forward. We’re so grateful for wider community support such as 1st Ellon Boys Brigade, Anderson’s of Inverurie, Lawrence Milne, Grampian Continental and Co-op’s Community Fridge Grant.
"The Community Fridge is crucial to the larder and Co-op Hubbub funding allows us to buy the right fridge or freezer to save and redistribute surplus. We plan to purchase a glass fronted freezer in the first instance allowing visibility, ease of use and safety. Knowing the further £1K is coming a year in is a boost.”
Nicola and Edith continued: “Hubbub co-ordinates the world’s largest community fridge network with 250 UK Community Fridges and Co-op giving funding to double the Hubbub network to 500 Community Fridges. One being our Community Larder in Ellon.
"We’ve found support from Hubbub so helpful. Their Community Fridge Facebook Forum helps with queries and has community spirit and celebration amongst those running community fridges.
“We aim to launch in May and there’s a growing buzz in the community about it. As a church we believe our project will be a place of hope for all the community in such strange times, which can only be a good thing!
"We’ve launched a community art competition to design our Larder shopping bags, visit ellonparishchurch.co.uk or facebook.com/ellonparishchurch for details and updates. Exciting times!”