Social enterprise Migrateful – which supports refugees and asylum seekers by helping them become professional chefs and access employment – is currently crowdfunding to put down roots and transform The Peel’s Three Corners Centre on Northampton Road EC1 into its main base. The campaign aims to turn space at The Peel into a permanent place to run its cookery classes, with renovation plans afoot to include 20 cooking stations for training, followed by lessons for the public and larger events.
The Cookery School, says Jessica Thompson, Migrateful’s founder, will be “a place that can finally be a ‘home away from home’ for all our migrant chefs”. Once trained, the students will teach their traditional cuisines to paying customers through cookery classes – and use food as a powerful tool to connect people.
Since 2017, Migrateful has supported 57 chefs and delivered over 1,500 events in different venues across London and Bristol. Cookery classes are continuing online throughout the pandemic.
“It feels like the next step for the organisation to have our own space, and it will become a reason for people to want to come to Clerkenwell.” says Thompson. “It’s great that it’s next to Exmouth Market and our chefs who are getting more and more inspired by their careers will be able to go to those local restaurants.”
Migrateful also runs team building cookery classes with corporate organisations. “We hope that we’ll be able to reach lots of local businesses in the Clerkenwell area that come and attend the cookery classes as team building activities,” says Thompson. “And that also allows us to open up classes to residents in the local community that might struggle to afford to pay for a cooking class but want to come along.”
The charity’s campaign has received donations from local backers, Migrateful supporters and even the Duchess of Sussex. The Mayor of London will also contribute to the project.
“We’re more concerned about getting lots of people pledging small amounts to show that we have the support. And then that will inspire the Mayor to then put in a much bigger pledge,” said Thompson.
The crowdfunding campaign is running until May and Migrateful is aiming for a June opening.
Donate at www.spacehive. com/migrateful-cookery-schoola-long-term-home