The Hull 2020 Champions hopes to bring about big changes with its Big Lunch programme.
The NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) programme aims to inspire and support individuals living or working in Hull who want to improve lives in their community. Hull 2020 Champion-led projects cover a range of initiatives including social inclusion, exercise, healthy eating and helping people into work.
One feature of the Hull 2020 Champions programme is a kick-starter style www.hull2020champions.org website that will allow interested members of the community to pledge their skills or list the skills and materials they require to establish their project.
Emma Latimer, chief officer of NHS Hull CCG who masterminded the scheme, said: “Nobody knows the issues in their street better than the people who live there. They know what needs to be done and often want to be part of the solution. In many cases they just need some inspiration, encouragement and ongoing support to get it off the ground.
“The Hull 2020 Champions puts local people in control of identifying and then doing something about the health and social issues that matter most to them. By putting like-minded people together to share ideas and lessons learned we can bring the key components of the community together to make a really positive difference.”
Debbi Lee, a Hull 2020 Champion said: “After working in the voluntary sector for a number of years I had always undervalued my knowledge and experience.
“While watching a programme on TV I saw a vision of how I might be able to change a few people’s lives. I never thought I would hear words like malnutrition associated with somewhere so close to home.
“After attending Hull 2020 Champions meeting and seeing how enthusiastic everyone was about my ideas I believed that this could actually be possible.
“My idea in brief is to have a community café where local restaurants, cafes and other small local retailers would donate left over produce or food that is close to its sell by date.”
Hull 2020 Champions is part of the Hull 2020 programme. Its ethos is based on the findings from the Tale of Two Wards project carried out in Hull earlier this year which looked at how health and social care services are accessed and what the local community is doing to improve lives for the people that live and work in specific areas of Hull.
Further Big Lunches are planned throughout the remainder of the year with the next event scheduled for Monday 17 November 2014 at the Edinburgh Street Community Centre, Woodcock Street.