Crossroads Community Hub aspired to support local at its foundation since the development trust was founded ten years ago. Ayrshire Food Hub is the result of that decade’s work. Now home to a café where people are enjoying reconnecting, a farm shop showcasing local/Scottish, producers, a practitioners space to save time, stress and costs for rural dwellers' medical appointments, a community space offering educational, social and health and wellbeing activities and a development kitchen to launch fledgling businesses within a rural setting Profits will sustain our charitable activities, including education, tackling food-insecurity, health and wellbeing and community resilience and regeneration.
Following the closure of the primary school a decade ago, the local community lost a focal point. This was the motivation for the charity venture. In more recent times though, adaptability has been key in every aspect of our work. COVID saw our team unable to visit schools or host group cooking sessions. These have been replaced with online ‘how-to’ videos and recipe kits to ensure we can still provide some form of educational material. Due to social distancing, only one team member at a time could cook 40,000 emergency meals distributed to the most vulnerable in our community. Working in isolation was a challenge to our team, however, still strove to support each other to continue the valuable work throughout the pandemic. Construction of the new facility was placed on hold while we faced mounting costs for unused equipment hire and security during the construction industry lockdown. Last-minute funding applications were completed daily to resolve the mounting financial burden. Planning our future business and charity activities while faced with continued uncertainty proved challenging Opening our cafe and farm-shop with restrictions still in place offered additional challenges. Safety was the absolute priority, and with this in mind, we initially only offered a takeaway service throughout spring. We then opened up with social distancing, one-way systems, contactless doors, facilities and hand sanitising stations in place. Our team has worked incredibly hard – often operating with a skeleton staff to ensure capacity was kept down for the sake of safety.