What are we cooking tonight?

27 March 2013

Martin writes...
What are we cooking tonight? Is the question that starts off Thursday night drop in. Although cooking on a Thursday night has been happening for a while now at Urban Hope we are currently trying something new.

Instead of carrying on with what we normally do and letting people eat and rush back to what they were doing before. Every other week now we call everyone together to sit down and eat together around one large table.

As we gathered everyone to eat some people were sitting and eagerly waiting for their food to be served while others were standing looking confused and asking what we were doing it for. As the food was served up and more people were sitting, eating and chatting together, those who first looked confused and nervous relaxed and soon everyone was focussed on eating with the group. Without any prompting someone says “So how was your day?” and the conversations flow from there.

There is something about sitting and eating together that can be more special than just standing, eating and moving on. What we are trying to do is to foster time to be together in an intentional way rather than just sharing the same space but not necessarily connecting with each other. We are creating an opportunity to share together in a way that can be easier to do while eating together. It can make it easier for people to let their guards down a bit and be willing to share and interact with others compared with if they were just playing Fifa 13.

Throughout Urban Hope there is a sense of family, which is added to by the action of sitting and eating around a table together. For some young people it might not be something that is done with their family and so we are creating a place where they can be safe to share with others in the context of a family meal.

We value the importance of creating these opportunities for people to experience the enjoyment of sharing food together and the connections that we can make through the meal time.

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