The team dropped by for lunch and a chat, and found out more about what they do and who they’re able to benefit.
The Trust runs a range of activities for the local community and based in a small community centre, the hub of which is the dining area and those who come to share the food.
We also chatted to Phil McGrath, the Cedarwood Trust’s Chief Executive to get his insights into the centre, the area and his rather creative fundraising efforts.
How does it all work?
The centre itself is maintained by a team of part-time paid staff and volunteers. It is funded by grants from a range of charitable sources, and internal fundraising efforts and benefits from subsidised rent from the local council. The most recent of which was a stunt where the centre’s CEO, Phil, zip-wired from the local stadium dressed as Elvis Presley. Phil leapt off the Stadium of Light attached to a zip wire 150ft off the ground – arriving, in fancy dress, at a shipyard on the banks of the river Wear – all to raise much needed resources for the Cedarwood Trust, North East Autism Society and the Foundation of Light. He is definitely to be commended for bravery and originality – and the event raised nearly £1,000.
The centre runs breakfast and lunch clubs for any of the residents of the estate who want to drop by. In fact, these meal-time projects were initially funded by CDF’s Community First programme, but were so successful they continued long after.
Free lunch for older people
The lunch for older people that the team were lucky enough to attend is a spirited affair, with residents getting together in the afternoons to cook, eat and chat together. The centre has a welcoming, informal and energetic atmosphere.
As well as a host of friendly and lively characters, they also have a couple of shelves of books and a rail of second-hand clothes. Anyone can donate or take these items free of charge. Phil said that although the items are free to take away, they are often used and the shelves are never empty.
They also have an attractive outdoor space with murals painted by local volunteers, and run a range of events for the community such as a family history group, folk music sessions, bingo and ‘baby socials’.
Interested in Food Provision projects? Take a look at our resource from the Cinnamon Network for some videos to inspire you.Featured project: the Cedarwood Trust,