‘This is what community looks like’ - Re-imagine in Witchford gets John Lewis grant

Bunting draped from the ceiling, rolls of fabric, wallpaper, cards, buttons, ribbon, paint and stick

Bunting draped from the ceiling, rolls of fabric, wallpaper, cards, buttons, ribbon, paint and stickers all form a glittery haze at Re-imagine in Witchford. They have now received a John Lewis grant. Picture: CLARE BUTLER. - Credit: Archant

A new kitchen to hold cooking classes and “empower” communities will form part of a John Lewis grant for Re-imagine in Witchford.

The Re-imagine Resource Centre, just off the A142, will be able to "empower and enhance" the local community thanks to the funding.

It will also see a new market stall to be set up by owner, Ruth Marley, and more volunteering opportunities.

Ruth said she was "over the moon" to receive the grant from the John Lewis Foundation.

"We will be able to build a kitchen area for surplus food, that would otherwise be thrown away and use this for creating meals to help those that work with vulnerable people and those struggling to meet their families needs," she said.

"This will also create an area that will allow for food preparation classes by volunteers to those who have little or no knowledge of fresh food preparation."

The Community Larder at Re-imagine sees bags of veggies, fruit, tinned goods and savoury treats donated so that those facing hardship can have access to fresh, nutritious food.

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Materials that would otherwise be discarded among the tonnes of waste can also be recycled into crafting items and garments at the centre.

"As Re-imagine Resource Centre is a community hub that has sustainable values at its core, and we encourage local businesses to dispose of waste in a way that does not damage the environment," Ruth continued.

"The grant will increase the opportunities for volunteering and shape the way we move forward together to a more ethical lifestyle through sharing and supporting our eco-community.

"The main aim is to achieve a greater awareness of how waste that is normally thrown away can be reused.

"I am so ready to take Re-imagine to the next level and my commitment, passion and excitement for real change is simply immeasurable.

"This is what community looks like."

The John Lewis Foundation has supported in excess of 50 charities in nine countries with more than £1,300,000 in donations.

Ruth also gave her thanks to John Lewis' coordinator, Christine Shaw, who has always championed our project.