Nottingham Writers’ Studio members swapped their pens for pans, taking over a Muslim-Jewish run soup kitchen to feed those needing a hot meal.
The Salaam Shalom Kitchen, on Gregory Boulevard, Hyson Green, is founded on principles of community cohesion and helping the less fortunate.
Sarah Hindmarsh, chair of Nottingham Writers’ Studio, coordinated the effort.
Speaking to CBJ News, she said: “We’re not just about writers and our members, we’re a community interest company which means we are partly charitable in terms of our funding and outlook, so we really wanted to do this.”
Sarah, whose full-time job is as a private tutor, added that as many people at the Writers’ Studio are from more privileged backgrounds, it is their ‘duty to do something like this.’
Andrea Chipman, steering committee organiser at the kitchen, said: “We have two communities working together, creating a nice atmosphere where people can have a meal and someone ask how they’re doing.
“People underestimate how important that is.”
Filled with music, laughter and conversation, the evening last month saw the studio cater for many people, some who attend frequently.
Tali Levi, volunteer coordinator at Salaam Shalom and the regular cook, said having the Studio there meant she could ‘collect donations for the Himmah Food Bank’ instead, who the kitchen work with to donate any extra food towards.
She added: “This is a great place to meet new people from different cultures and backgrounds because it’s not about religion here, just bringing people together.”
Sajid Mohammed, co-founder and co-chair of Salaam Shalom, said: “We’re a small project so it’s really important on resources that other community organisations get involved and help us out.”
Many who come to the kitchen suffer from loneliness, and struggle with food poverty issues, meaning guests range from families with children to adults.