Minutes from Love Kitchen Organisational Meeting 29/2/16

Love Kitchen Organisational Meeting

Monday 29th February
The Cowley Club – 7-9pm

Meeting Chair – Ree Melody & Claire Cant
Minute Taker – Sharron Davis Price

FOOD
*Most suitable food

Feedback from people living on the street:       

Jacket potato with beans and cheese, mild curry (wrap in foil and put in a container to keep them warm).

Feedback from the group:

It’s really important to have healthy food. Soup is good as hot and drinkable. Fresh Fruit, especially bananas. Jacket potatoes.

Anything hot. Make sure include enough protein. Need carbohydrate to keep warm, but protein is good for repair. Good quality protein, lentils and beans.

Now it’s coming up to summer, need to think for the future, so not just soup.

No rice or beansprouts as there is a risk of campylobacta.


*Supply from surplus groups and other surplus: is there enough supply and if not are we making use of all available.

Fareshare (are they willing to offer for free?).

Have established connections with Food Waste Collective – quarterly, it is dried food including quinoa and soya mince etc.  Get emailed need to go and collect it. Ground almonds, amarand.  The next one is the first week of April.

Can collect supplies from the Junk Food Project on a Friday (1pm) as they have a food bank.

Need to contact Junk Food Project, we have emailed a list of food that is useful for the kitchen – need to contact them to arrange picking it up.

Most pubs do nut roasts on a Sunday, is it possible to get the nut roast from the pub.

Are supermarkets supposed to give away unused food? Can we target them? Locally the supermarkets give food to the Junk Food Project.

Could recruit more local cafes/businesses to donate their surplus too. Get bread from the flowerpot café – but haven’t had anything for the last few weeks, it would be good to find another supplier for bread. Need to be careful not to have mouldy bread. The Real Patiserrie will donate bread. Marmalade will also donate. Clare has experience of Greggs offering food in other areas.

Olio.com – this is a food sharing app. Note post meeting, there is a launch of Olio at One Church on Saturday, 1 til 4, would be good if a representative from Love Kitchen could attend.

*Cooking – Need a cooking rota for people who can cook the day before or that morning and drop food off?


Actions

Action: Sandra – linking up with Fareshare – for example coffee

Action: Jacky to go to the next Food Waste Collective information meeting.

Action: Jason to set up a list of what supplies are where on google docs or an alternative potentially zoho docs.

Action: Ree to set up a list of supplies available on the love kitchen organisational page.

Action: Karlos to include a general list of what to get with vouchers etc when hosting.

Action: Adam to contact Real Junk Food Project – need to make this a formalised regular process, they have a lot of food.

Action: Alex offered to help to transport food.

Action: Dom to make bread on a Sunday – Ree has bread flour.

Action: Sandra to set up a file on the Organisation page to track requests made to cafes and shops for surplus food.

Action: Jason to set up the request tracking as a document.

Action: All check with other cafes and report back on the Love Kitchen page.

Action: Vicky to ask the Food Waste Collective to have a copy of the food disclaimer form.

Action: All – try to have hot food for one o’clock when it is cold day.

Action: All add your names to the cooking calendar.


HYGIENE / SAFETY
* Recycling and compost.

Brighton compost bin access number 1066. Has to be tested and locate one we can use.

* Keeping things safe and presentable at the kitchen

It will be tourist season soon and don’t want to give any reason to close down the kitchen.

Actions

Action: Vicky to check on compost bin access number again with Dave.

Action: All need to have bin bags and to clear it away – rather than putting it in the council bins.

Action: All to keep things tidy.

Action: Josh – Create the Friendly Guide to Hosting.

Action: Josh – The need to clear away the bins needs to be added to the hosting guide.

Action: Owner required. Need hand washing facilities and gloves.

Action: Josh – Need to be careful when replacing gas bottles on the cooker – needs to go in the guidelines.

Action: Ree – Get a simple first aid kit.

Action: Owner required – Investigate training of First Aid.

ORGANISATION / EQUIPMENT
* Love Kitchen Calendar – Where volunteers can put their name down for hosting/motivating the Love Kitchen on the Sundays they are available.

* Storage and transport –  Would it be useful to look into some sort of central storage space to keep things? Is current storage and transport working okay – currently generally gets taken to Karlos’s house? Will try to find somewhere for free, but could potentially fundraise/crowdfund to pay for a central storage space? Electric bike with trailer? Could also crowdfund for this.

Need to arrange where the food is stored, have lots of food in different place. Offer to store dry food stuff at Karlos. He is moving at the end of June.

There is a product table and a couple of suitcases etc – no problem storing at Karlos’s house, but an overhead for people to pick it up.

Communication: We have a phone.  Need to make sure the host has the phone, needs to go in the hosting guidelines – or maybe the admin team could keep the phone.

Actions

Action: Ree to update wish list on the kitchen page.

Action: Ree to add wish lists to website.

Action: All -ask to be made an editor of the page so you can post a wish list as love activists brighton. To ask the community for support/donation of food or equipment needed.

Action: All – Encourage people to drop clothing off at the Love Kitchen. Ree and Helen can store additional things.

Action: Josh/Ree to coordinate the admin support team.

Action: Ree to pin website link to Facebook page.

Action: Jason to enquire whether willing office collective willing to share office transport.

Action: Jacky – Try Mary Magdalen church again for storing stuff – one of their members cooks soup for the hove evening soup run so they are sympathetic. Also try the Unitarian church. Need access to a kitchen for washing up also. In addition ask whether we can store food.

Action: Sandra – to email and contact places also.

Action: Ree to speak to the Cowley Club about potential for storage space.

Action: Ree and Karlos to sort through equipment and make more compact into no more than two wheelie bags plus the table. Need to also put in the guidelines what things not to add.

Action: All – try not to add any superfluous stuff to the street kitchen luggage.

Action: Ree has a phone and Karlos has a SIM – need to combine.

Action All: When equipment gets broken/lost or we are in need of stuff. Message the page with list of stuff after each love kitchen.  Josh – this needs to go in guidelines.

Action: Need to set-up an online calendar on the website.


SPREADING THE WORD
* Info materials – Street Sheets. Anything else? Flyers for particular other useful services and info not on street sheet or with more info, doctors of the world, bhfp emergency food list, emergency mental health numbers etc. Have a folder of these to put out each week for signposting. 

* Campaigning: Also have petitions/info sheets/flyers for upcoming events and campaigns to talk to people about. Not just LAB but raise support for other groups too such as Living Rent, People’s Assembly etc. to give out to people who want to get involved in other actions. Also a page on the website called Street Stories.

* Book swap box? Love Kitchen radical mini library. Requests for particular books can go on wish list? Hold for now. Previously tried this. Friend Meeting House do a mobile library. Need to confirm whether this is the case. Carry this forward to the next meeting for example when we have a storage place. This could also be part of Love Drawers.

* Musical instruments – Make note of what people would like? Find places to donate them? Could check on Freecycle. Could also encourage people to play. Could play music at the homeless march. Alex offering to bring instruments to the Love Kitchen to play.

* Banners – We need a new Love Kitchen banner

Actions

Action: Ree – has a red folder for relevant information. Helen/Jacky/Holly have offered to help. This needs to be part of the equipment.

Action: Ree – include copies of this information online so they can be printed.

Action: All if anybody has information about relevant homeless stories then email to the central email address.

Action: Josh set up a date and a time for Love News sub group. – Chris programming – Alex design and Polly also Jacky. Ree to email for other volunteers.

Action: All grab flyers from upcoming events.

Action: Ree to donate a mini rig to play music – add to kit.

Action: Alex to create new banner get in contact with FREE art group, every Wednesday (2-4pm) at the Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project! Invite people living on the street to make the banner maybe?
https://www.facebook.com/Brighton-Hove-Homeless-Art-Craft-Project-841724779255955/?fref=ts  Alternatively – If this doesn’t work out, then set up a day to create a banner.


OUR VALUES
* Discussion of the “not accepting money” policy and how to use this effectively

The group has never accepted monetary donations. Potentially consider a gig or something like that to fund something like the storage, but this would be something that would be done as a independent person – not directly under the banner of Love Activists.

* Treating each other with respect, and not expecting too much of others – anyone’s time and effort, however much, is always appreciated.

* Support – Giving advice to people who are new to Love Kitchen. Everyone to write advice/support/info for volunteering at the love kitchen to put on website and love kitchen event pages?

It’s nice to be nice and it’s okay to say thank you.

* Trying not to create an “us and them” mentality with those we are helping – sometimes when there have been photos being taken. Badges for Love Activist. Also to invite the homeless to come to the meeting and to maybe help cooking. Sometimes the environment is intense.

Action: All – continue to direct people to buy items to donate rather than to take money.


ANY OTHER BUSINESS:

* Update from Fairness Commission meeting – Solution Based Proposals To End Homelessness. Had a full council meeting, had a petition, most gathered by homeless. Were able to present the solution to the council – referred to the Housing and Homes Committee. Trying to get the council to change their approach to dealing with homelessness. Had 5 mins to talk in support of the proposals. It is a new commission set up by the council – 12 independent people. They are academics and ex councilors etc – since September they have chosen themes. Housing is one of the themes. Have private and public meetings and write a report with recommendations to the council. The council is under no obligation to apply the recommendations.
* Feedback about SWEP (severe weather emergency protocol) & council meeting – on 7th Feb – severe weather warning and centres weren’t open. Now have instigated ‘Carelink’ to make sure they monitor. Only follow the guidelines to open if below zero. But don’t take account of the feels like temp – have only used a quarter of the budget. Also only open when there is an amber warning – not yellow. It only opened 6 times last year and the budget didn’t get carried over.

* Demo on 2nd March – No More Deaths On Our Streets: Meet outside friends meeting house 3pm – to express in advance of the Council meeting – as the Love Activists are not allowed to speak at this meeting. At the friends meeting house on Ship Street.
– Bring banners!!
– Need to print off love activists banner signs on Tuesday at Resource Centre.

Peace and environment centre will print A4

– Press should be there: designated people who are up to speed to be interviewed on the day if given the opportunity?

* Hummingbird Project. Refugees welcome – Stand up to racism event in London. March 19th. Join in solidarity? It maybe a good opportunity for Love Activists to communicate/express the overlap between refugees and homeless people in our country/smash racism. That all human beings need a safe home, the global homeless – https://www.facebook.com/events/1673735999562507/

Update on rebel Alliance meeting – 23rd March – anti fascist gig at the Cowley Club

Public order act – will prevent camping in forests

Caravans on the street survey – brighton and hove – non motorized vehicles survey.

Actions

Action: Ree/Josh to compile information – for parliament

Action: Sharron to engage with Ree and the team – go to Council Meeting for example.

Action: All respond to the non-motorised vehicles survey and pass on.

Action: All – respond to the public order act survey and pass on.

 

SWEP Update: Meeting, 26/2/15

By REE MELODY

I attended a meeting at King’s House yesterday (26th February 2016) to discuss the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP).

I was invited because Love Activists had flagged this failure up to the council.

Attendees at the meeting were; Tracy John (Head of Housing), Jenny Knight (Commissioner for Homelessness), Sue Forrest (Commissioning Team) and Brian Doughty (Head of Adult Social Care). Claire Moonan (Deputy Chair Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee) was unable to attend due to personal issues.

I clarified that we had received a written apology from Claire Moonan. We have mentioned this to people living on the street. Sadly there is much apathy and the apology understandably doesn’t really cut it when you’re living on the street day in day out.

I asked why the error had occured. The answer was a bit vague. “Breakdown in communications” was the answer pretty much. They also went on to say that if the warning is online later in the day, they find it ‘more difficult’ to get people to staff the center at short notice.

They went on to explain that to avoid this happening again, they have set up a 24/7 ‘Carelink’, whereby someone will be allocated to check the weather report 24/7. When an ‘Amber’ severe weather warning occurs, they will then get in touch with Jenny Knight or the Duty Manager to activate the protocol. They will then get in touch with Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) and St.Mungos outreach team to arrange staffing the centre as they usually do.

The council have to follow guidelines as set by Homeless Link. I mentioned that an ‘Amber’ warning is not stated in the guidance and asked who had set what seems to be an arbitary trigger? Jenny Knight said the local council set that measure. 

I asked whether this was decided because of the budget available? Jenny said that IF it was set for the protocol to be activated for every ‘Yellow’ warning, the budget would get used up leaving none for random severe weather at other times of the year, if we had snow for example. 

So, it seems to be the case that this protocol was set in consideration of the budget rather than the need.

When asked why our council won’t follow the guidelines of the Extended Winter Provision, whereby they could (or should) open the centers from Nov-March, I got the same answer. There wouldn’t be enough budget.
I then asked if they would consider opening the centers on all of the rainy days. Same answer. Would they consider the ‘feels like’ temperature and consider the fact that the temperature may start at above zero some nights, but more often than not falls below zero during the night. Same answer. 

weather
So despite also highlighting that only quarter of the budget was used last year they are not willing to reassess the triggers of below zero and amber warnings. They wouldn’t tell me the amount of the budget as this information is ‘commercially sensitive’…(!?)

I proposed that they ‘find the money’ within the council and alter their budget. They said they can’t because of central government policy. I would need to lobby my local MP to see if they could change things. As councillors they don’t have that power.

They also expressed that they wouldnt be able to open the available centers every night through the winter and can only use them on an ad-hoc basis. If they were able to fund opening one November – March, they would have to have their own building. I suggested they make use of one of the empty ones. They all went quiet! Then said the start up costs would be too much and that it wasn’t an option. 

I criticised Streetlink, expressing that examining the figures provided by the service, when contracted with CRI, it appears to be more of a data gathering exercise. Out of 272 referrals only 3 had an ‘accomodation outcome’ for example. They are waiting to get reports from St. Mungo’s since they started to run it here in Brighton. Until then, they said they couldn’t really comment but will be ‘looking at how it is doing’. 

I asked what the donations on the streetlink website would be used for. They were considering my suggestion of a deposit scheme to help people get a home. Although the donations are not that big, so they are considering using it for assessing homeless people off the street – paying for staff, resources, food to assess someone indoors whilst working out where to signpost them to. 

I expressed concern that Streetlink’s ‘service’ is being presented to the public as an emergency service that can help people off the street. That this was dangerous and wrong. There should be such a service, but Streetlink is definitely not it! The general public should be informed that this service is actually about gathering data, rather than helping people off the streets. We will be interested to see the figures when they come through, as when looking at the ones from December 2012 to January 2016 very few are housed. Out of 2800 in South East England, only 85 were accommodated. Some of these are likely to have been just a B and B for the night or 28 days in an emergency hostel. 

Tracy John insisted that resources and money were being prioritised for preventative measures, to stop people becoming homeless. I agreed that this was good, but what about the emergency situation of people struggling to survive on our streets now!? Something has to change before any more people die on our streets. 

The fact is that the number of homeless people is increasing every day. 

They agreed but I walked out after the meeting disheartened. I even said to Brian Doughty that I find all of this bureaucracy disheartening and he just said “yeah” and chuckled nervously.