The Community Wellbeing Kitchen: Responding to Community Need
The Community Wellbeing Kitchen (CWK) launched on Wednesday 29th November in The Market community, Belfast.
The CWK is an initiative undertaken by Queen’s Communities and Place with our anchor community partner, the Market Development Association. The CWK research initiative is informed by the Year 1 findings of QCAP’s ‘Growing up in the Market’ study, which identified a need for focus on ongoing community level challenges of physical health, psychological wellbeing, food security and the cost-of-living crisis. These findings, coupled with ongoing community consultation and discussions with the local Health Action Working Group, has seen the development of the CWK to respond to these community level needs.
The CWK research initiative, and its proposed upscale, is underpinned by research and best practice knowledge. The CWK community-based pilot programme has been designed to equip Market residents with necessary practical knowledge, skills and experience around nutrition, physical and mental health and budgeting to address identified need. The pilot builds on an effective model of practice with tailored content based on co-design activities within the local Market relating to current challenges for families and individuals here.
The CWK is a unique initiative addressing community need and incorporating tailored information sessions led by experts. It applies behavioural change theory to promote and maintain healthy habits. There has been a key barrier in provision of health promotion, food security and cookery skill in the community due to a lack of appropriate local facilities and equipment. As such the programme also provides a sustainable footprint in the community through the securing of funding for provision of cooking stations and kits for use by participants.
Our launch on Wednesday 29 November saw our trained community facilitators take the lead.
The CWK provides a tangible resource in the community within which future initiatives will be co-designed with, and delivered, in the Market including:
- Tailoring the pilot programme for other groupings within the community, including older adults living alone, families, single parents, and local sports groups
- Providing a ‘space’ or forum for ongoing engagement on physical and mental wellbeing between QCAP and the Market community
- Facilitating delivery of further community health and wellbeing programmes e.g.: ‘A recipe for good mental health’.
- Spin out activities have also been discussed, and can be housed under the CWK banner, for example: ‘The Market Community Wellbeing Cookbook’.
The CWK roll out reflects plans for scalability and adaptation for other local communities.