Garioch Community Kitchen

SCIO Scottish Charity No SC046110

Annual Report 2015 / 2016

Annual report for the Garioch Community Kitchen

For the year ending March 2016

Background – The Garioch Community Kitchen (GCK) was founded in 2012 as a result of consultations with local community groups and the public sector. Start up funding  came from various sources including Fairer Scotland Fund, Garioch Community Planning Group, NHS Grampian and the then Aberdeenshire Childcare Partnership (now the childcare strategy team). 

The Wider Picture – National statistics show that poor diet, a lack of cooking skills and a lack of health education are huge barriers to improving health.  There have been a number of studies carried out which show community food based initiatives, like the Garioch Community Kitchen, improve cooking confidence, food preparation methods and dietary choices.  Studies also show that children who take an active role in food preparation eat more healthily and are more likely to try new foods and that cooking classes aimed at both pupils and adults have a positive impact on eating habits.

The Garioch Community Kitchen since it began in 2012 has delivered practical cookery skills within local communities to increase confidence and its food skills team continues to highlight the long-term benefits of a healthy balanced diet.

What do we hope to achieve – Our aim is to:

  • Build on the positive relationships we have developed with all stakeholders with the potential to influence and improve the health and wellbeing of the Garioch & Formartine Community
  • Improve the health and wellbeing of communities by practical experience in food handling and preparation and promote the long term benefits of a healthy balanced diet
  • Provide opportunities for individuals to develop transferable workplace skills and access accredited training
  • Identify steps to ensure the long-term sustainability of project

The kitchen has a detailed Action Plan which links in with local and National food policies. These include:

Scotland’s National Food and Drinks Policy

Aberdeenshire’ single outcome agreements

Curriculum for Excellence

The Garioch Community Kitchen is also a registered centre for delivering REHIS accredited training in Food Hygiene, Nutrition and new REHIS basic cooking courses. 

Who are we? 

The Committee 

The GCK is supported by a voluntary committee made up of public and third sector representatives. The project initially was managed as a voluntary organisation and recently became registered as a Charity.  The committee members provide a wealth of knowledge and experience to addressing and reaching the aims of the constitution. 

Food Skills Professionals

All GCK sessions are run by a team of self-employed food and nutrition professionals who develop and deliver structured food skills. These include training programs for targeted members of the community and can be commissioned for community groups/individuals to enable and influence specific audiences.

The GCK team, are highly trained in food and nutrition and provide a wealth of experience in delivering practical food skills including advising on all aspects of food hygiene, nutrition and training. They include a qualified nutritionist and dietician and an accredited REHIS trainer who delivers food hygiene and nutrition training. The Garioch Community Kitchen Manager provides support to the team as well as managing all the day to day running of the kitchen and bookings and in addition the Harlaw Day Centre provides an invaluable cleaning and shopping service to maintain stocks for groups accessing the facility.

All the GCK projects have been determined by needs assessment through consultations with the community and public sector groups. Funding is applied on basis of need and capacity to carry out a wide range of projects.  The kitchen is now in the fortunate position of self sustainability through income generating work that can be ploughed back into funding more targeted pieces of work.

Through close links with community groups, local agencies and members of the community GCK has become a recognised centre for the provision of food skills, food hygiene and nutritional information. 

What can GCK offer?

Food skill professionals can deliver in house and outreach work such as:

  • REHIS accredited Elementary Food Hygiene to ensure food standards are maintained
  • REHIS accredited Food and Health Course to provide an understanding of Nutrition
  • Practical food skills programmes to members of the community whether they are young, elderly, disabled, vulnerable, have weight issues or just want some confidence to cook basic nutritious meals.
  • Conversation Café ( pop up cafe) runs on a monthly basis as somewhere to come meet new people and try something new in a bid to reduce social isolation and help prevent Mental Health issues within the community.

GCK to date

2015-16 has been a very busy and productive year and the committee is delighted to share the following venue figures

Class Category Sessions delivered Numbers accessing the courses
In house Outreach In house Outreach
Food Hygiene Training 5 3 56 24
Older 14 6 110 30
Under 5’S 7 0 61 0
Young People 84 16 926 240
Mental Health 106 0 840 0
Substance Misuse 7 0 36 0
Working within Communities 35 12 225 100
Total 258 37 2254 394

All our data is categorised for accounting and recording purposes 

Community Groups 

It is important to mention some of the groups who regularly access the kitchen. Groups who may come with their own facilitator and others book GCK facilitators. Of the above tabled figures a total of 173 sessions were self facilitated by groups accessing and booking the kitchen independently.

  • Young Carers
  • Comraich
  • St Andrews School
  • Foster Carers
  • Cornfields
  • Aberdeen Foyer
  • Strathburn School, Kellands School, Kintore and Oldmeldrum school & Inverurie Academy
  • The National Autistic society
  • North East Sensory Service
  • Playgroups to include Strathburn, Kintore St Andrews and Garioch under 5’s
  • Rainbows, Brownies and Guides
  • ADP Service
  • Harlaw Centre
  • Grampian Opportunities

A sample of some of the projects which have been delivered by GCK during 2015-16 are given below

  • Parent and child classes
  • REHIS accredited Food hygiene courses
  • Children’s after school and holiday programs income generating
  • Employability Courses
  • Healthy Heart Program
  • Walking football, Healthy Heart Program
  • Outreach “Fits for Supper” club
  • More Choices, More Chances for pupils in secondary schools.
  • Nutritional information sessions and cooking skills to parents and children in early years settings
  • Outreach work including parents and children under 5
  • Children’s classes linking into local and national initiatives, linking into Active schools and topical work “Health Week” & “Science Week” with various primary schools
  • Conversation Café
  • Garioch Kitchen Cultural Event – Wellbeing Week

Evaluations are completed at the end of each course or event to provide feedback from community groups accessing the facility and to ensure the aims and objectives of our projects are being met. 


Marketing GCK is a key aim for the committee who rely on the manager and food skill professionals to help market projects through existing contacts as well as reaching prospective new participants. In 2015 GCK engaged the services of Kay Diack of Diack Associates to help the committee develop ideas for improving long-term sustainability through building a marketing strategy as well as reviewing operational needs of the kitchen. This resulted in new ideas being implemented as well as a long term plan which aims to increase numbers accessing the facility while meeting aims of the initial constitution. 

The plan includes local advertising to promote courses through our database of contacts as well as the local paper and increasing use of social media sites such as facebook and webpage which provides a list of our booking costs and contact details. 

One of the more recent funded projects aims to connect and work with community kitchen volunteers to help market the kitchen and projects such as the Conversation Café to help reduce social isolation. The volunteering project has seen interest from the community as a whole but also from our public and third sector networks to increase employability for people who are being supported back to work.

Funding and Finances

The Garioch Community kitchen has attracted the following funding in 2015-16

Date Amount Justification Agency
Throughout year £23,390 Income generation to re-invest in projects GCK
April 15 £2500 Various projects Top up funding
May 15 £750 Administrator costs Inverurie Round Table
Apr 15 £2850 Working with young people Youth link Funding
June 15 £1000 Working with young people Foundation Scotland
Dec-15  £500 For Conversation Cafe HIF
Dec -15  £1425 Healthy Heart Walking Football HIF
Jan 16  £9780 Various – mainly delivery of sessions to under 5’s and parents carers Communities and Family funding
Feb 16 £4800 To deliver Food Hygiene training FSS
Mar 16 £1280 To deliver Food Hygiene training FSS
Mar 16 £4157 For work with Homeless and Cultural Food Event HIF
March -16  £3000 Administrator costs Church

Financial Status

Please note an independent accountant is currently auditing our accounts but below are figures from accounts to 31st March 2015

Income 44,446
Expenditure 44,223
Surplus/(deficit) 223
Total funds cfwd 223

 The Future  

The future looks bright for GCK with the introduction of Volunteers which has made managing capacity easier and enabled the kitchen to be more financially viable.

We are fortunate to have a dedicated committee and a small team of facilitators who have the professional knowledge and expertise to promote the kitchen during financially difficult times for communities and third sector organisations. Now that GCK is a registered charity it has opened up many new doors as far as funding is concerned.

The work plan for the future is focused on continuing to work with community and public sector organisations to deliver targeted programs to vulnerable groups in the kitchen as well as on an outreach basis. This will include offering subsidised sessions to vulnerable groups/individuals.

GCK will continue offering income-generating courses to help increase sustainability and are keen to meet with any groups/individuals that may have ideas to use the facility by contacting us directly.

The committee, facilitators and volunteers have worked hard to make this project the success it is today and we can only hope to build on this in the future. The sustainability of the project will always be an issue but GCK will continue to promote health and wellbeing through food initiatives and are confident in attracting funding and support for the foreseeable future.

Thank you to all our local supporters, facilitators, volunteers, funders, groups and participants.


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