50 blue plates: press release

Food for thinking

UPDATE: 26 April: Runners from the GoodGym have today started visiting restaurants, pubs and cafes in the area, distributing a letter and flyer to help the Club recruit more food businesses to join this scheme.  Here they write about it.

One Lambeth charity for people with dementia and their carers has launched a campaign that really offers food for thought.

The Healthy Living Club @ Lingham Court (@HLCLC on twitter) provides a welcoming and warm environment for those with dementia and their carers. It is inviting local cafés, pubs, restaurants and food businesses to contribute the cost of one day’s healthy and nutritious meals for the weekly Wednesday meetings, which cater for around 50 people.

A contribution of just £140 provides a tasty two-course lunch, which 50 club members will enjoy, alongside activities such as singing, dancing, crafts, reminiscing, laughter and fun.

It has been shown that those with dementia benefit from food served on brightly coloured plates*, which stand out and help make food more visible: without these visual prompts, those with dementia may struggle to eat and go on to suffer from malnutrition. So all the Club’s meals are now served on bright blue plates which they were able to buy thanks to winning the Aviva Community Fund competition: “2813 votes were cast for our project and we came first in our class” said the Club’s coordinator.

This grant also provides the club with the services of a professional chef who develops dishes that take into account the way our taste buds change both with age and with the onset of dementia. The food itself is partly supplied by FareShare, providers of fresh, perishable but still ‘in-date’ foods, which have contributed to the Club’s hugely popular lunches consisting of finger-food and puréed dishes, as well as other dementia-friendly treats. The annual subscription of around £400 provides Club members with almost 2,000 kilos of food!

“This grant will run out in June and we don’t want our plates to be empty after that” explained one of the Club members.

So the Healthy Living Club is calling out to local food-related businesses to contribute to the health and wellbeing of the Club’s members, asking each to subscribe the costs of lunch for our 50 members once a year.

Businesses will receive a certificate to display at their premises and on their website and their details will also be displayed on the Healthy Living Club’s website, Twitter https://twitter.com/OnBluePlates and Facebook pages.oneoffifty400x400

A welcome grant of £750 from the Brixton Fund is funding the training and services of local people to help approach food businesses to implement the project. http://brixtonpound.org/funded

HLC@LC is gaining national recognition for its ground-breaking work with people with dementia. An independent evaluation shows that, from an annual income of only £30,000, it generates social benefits worth half a million pounds a year. It does this by inspiring the inexhaustible dedication of the club’s volunteers and other contributions in kind, as well as the sheer quality of the experience enjoyed by its members.

The One of 50 Dementia-Friendly Plates campaign will not only save the club money, it will also help it to become more sustainable by guaranteeing a regular income from supporting food venues. This is particularly important as many trust funds are reluctant to make grants to small charities unless they can show they have a regular source of income.

* see report by Social Care Institute for Excellence SCIE on why coloured plates are best: https://www.scie.org.uk/dementia/living-with-dementia/eating-well/eating-environment.asp for more information.

Businesses which are contributing:
congratulations to our first supporter Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen in Brixton

follow them at @GhanaKitchen

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