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Coexist Community Kitchen | Support Our Independents


The Coexist Community Kitchen is a non-profit cookery school in Easton, Bristol. Their main aim is to use food as a vehicle to work with people who experience social marginalisation in our society. They believe that everyone should have spaces where they can share food, learn and teach skills, and create connections with others.  

For those that may not know, what does Coexist Community Kitchen do?

We're a non-profit cookery school that's all about using food to bring people together, especially those who are experiencing social marginalisation in our society. We have a welcoming and inclusive space where people come to share meals, learn new skills, and make new friends. We see food as the simplest and easiest way to connect people, supporting each other in building a stronger, healthier and more joyful society. Our weekly classes are organised in partnership with Bristol-based drug & alcohol services, mental health organisations, refugee and asylum seeker groups.

The Coexist Community Kitchen was founded in 2012 in Hamilton House. Sadly, we were evicted in 2018, alongside many other community groups and social enterprises. So, we set off looking for a new location to put down roots, which brought us to where we are now on Mivart Street in Easton. We rebuilt the kitchen from scratch, opening our doors in early 2020 just as the Coronavirus pandemic hit. Unable to run our cooking classes as normal, we quickly adapted to run an emergency food service to support people faced with food insecurity. This service is still going today, alongside our cookery programmes, providing over 6,000 meals a year to support individuals and families in Bristol. 

What services do you offer?

Our core work is delivering community classes, workshops and outreach programmes in collaboration with our partners. But we do lots of other things to! We are professional caterers for weddings, events & special occasions, which is one of the main ways we fund our outreach work. We also run public cooking classes once a month where people can come and learn how to master a new cuisine, along with fun food events like the Street Food Pop Up we’ll be hosting this summer. People can also hire our kitchen and dining room for their own events, or cooking needs.

How has demand for your services changed over the years?

The demand for our services has been steadily increasing and shows no signs of slowing down. As living costs and food prices rise, more and more individuals in the city are facing food insecurity. Recent statistics reveal a worrisome trend, with 1 in 281 households experiencing severe food insecurity in 2022/23, more than double the previous year. Our free meals service really is a lifeline for some. Also, we have seen a significant rise in referrals from individuals seeking mental health support and those impacted by war and conflict. People seeking asylum often find themselves placed in hotels without kitchen access or community connections. So, providing a welcoming space like our kitchen can make a significant difference in their lives.

What are your volunteers like?

Our volunteers are simply incredible! We are so grateful for their dedication and support, as none of our work would be achievable without them. Thanks to their help, we are able to carry out impactful community initiatives such as preparing 150 Community Meals each week, hosting engaging cooking experiences, and ensuring the smooth operations of our workshops. They truly are the backbone of our mission, and they are 100% part of the Coexist family. We even have one volunteer who has been supporting us for 8 years!

Tell us about your fundraiser for a new kitchen…

Our goal is to raise £20,000 to create a second, smaller kitchen dedicated to catering, which will generate essential funds for our community initiatives. Catering has always been a crucial means of fundraising for our project, but our current kitchen is consistently in use, meaning we’re having to turn down catering requests. We’re now actively seeking support from the public and Bristol's business community to contribute monetary donations, or to donate quality second-hand equipment to outfit the new kitchen.

Currently, we have raised £4,500 towards our target and are optimistic about reaching the remaining amount soon so that building works can start. This expansion will not only address our challenges with space, but also create employment opportunities for individuals who have experienced social marginalisation. Our plans include hiring a full-time manager and part-time support staff to operate the new kitchen, empowering individuals and fostering a sense of community inclusion. You can donate, and find out more about this project here: https://www.coexistcommunitykitchen.org/new-catering-kitchen  

In what other ways can people support you?

The best way to support us is to come and get involved and experience the kitchen for yourself! We run monthly cooking classes that are ticketed, and help raise funds for the project – along with events and guest chef pop ups every Wednesday. To keep up to date with what’s on, visit our website to sign up to our newsletter or follow us on Instagram and Facebook. You can also check out our What’s On page. People can also sign up to volunteer with us, or choose to make a donation which will always be gratefully received.

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