A local entrepreneur is empowering Gateshead communities one meal at a time, with support from The Gateshead Housing Company.
Corrina Mulholland runs Gateshead Community Organisation, a food-focused social enterprise. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she recently set up a weekly pop-up Syrian kitchen. It’s called ‘Altaeam Meana’, which means ‘food together’ in Arabic. As part of the project, Corrina and her team prepare and deliver hot, homemade meals. To date, they’ve made and distributed over 500 meals to Syrian families.
The scheme has been supported by funding allocated by the Home Office which is used to support refugees across the country. In Gateshead it covers support ranging from social care to education. It is also used to support community projects, like the Syrian kitchen, that promote integration.
Alongside the Syrian kitchen, Gateshead Community Organisation also distributed FareShare food parcels during the pandemic. Before coronavirus, the team worked hard to support a range of communities. Previous projects include healthy eating workshops and partnership work with Age Concern. On top of this, Corrina also offers work placements to Gateshead College students.
In future, Gateshead Community Organisation plans to branch out.
Corrina said: “The pandemic gave us a chance to reflect on the work we’ve done so far. Now, we want to expand and introduce non-food related projects. The local community is at the heart of everything we do, and we want to help people reach their full potential.”
Claire Thew, who leads the Refugee Support service here in Gateshead, said: “We were more than happy to support the Syrian kitchen. It’s been great for our families in what are very difficult times. Thank you to Corrina and the team for their hard work.”
Photo: Najwa Elba making up the takeaway meals.