Balsall Heath based social enterprise, ChangeKitchen CIC, is fast establishing itself as a community anchor in the locality and ‘cooking up change’ with free events and free community meals, jobs creation and embedded ethics of ‘inclusion means everyone is welcome’.

Last Sunday, ChangeKitchen CIC at their Kindness Cafe hosted the Big Lunch Balsall Heath with over 80 people enjoying the sunshine at this open community event to share friendship, fun and food. As a national initiative from Eden Project Communities, their Community Network Developer – Central England, Darren Kench, attended early to help set up and see the first local residents join The Big Lunch with a warm welcome for all, enjoy free food for the community, tasty freshly prepared affordable lunches, and free fun family activities.

Darren Kench said, “This year, Eden Project Communities is encouraging kindness to people and planet, by dishing up ideas to help make it the greenest Big Lunch yet, during celebrations throughout the Month of Community, this June.

One of the many ways that we can do this is to reduce food poverty and food waste, which ChangeKitchen CIC expertly demonstrate through the tasty, healthy community meals they create with surplus food. The Big Lunch was the perfect showcase for their mission to ‘cook up change’ in Birmingham, and we were delighted to hear the positive impact their kindness had on those who were warmly welcomed with free food and friendship to ChangeKitchen CIC Kindness Café.”

Recently recognised with a match fund award for the Cost of Living Crisis Challenge supported by School for Social Entrepreneurs, ChangeKitchen CIC was only one of 36 social enterprises in the UK to take part in this campaign.

Through their ‘Big Ask’, ChangeKitchen CIC has engaged with both Birmingham-based businesses, and local people looking for private event catering and food orders both online and at the ChangeKitchen Kindness Café.

One example of the social impact created for Balsall Heath, an area of multiple deprivation, is the match funding grant has enabled ChangeKitchen CIC to increase free community meals from 200 each week to over 500 per week.

The University of Birmingham engaged ChangeKitchen CIC to cater for a key event having seen the appeal for event bookings to support the match fund ‘Big Ask’. Bushra Chughtai, SPARC, Student Experience, and Education Support lead at University of Birmingham, Birmingham Business School, said of ChangeKItchen CIC, “Just a big thank you from us for all the catering so far today - we have had incredible reviews, and everyone has said it's the best catering they've ever had! Thank you so much for accommodating us with all the requests, I really appreciate it!”

Founder, Dr Birgit Kehrer, says, “Although we’ve been established since 2010, ChangeKitchen CIC is definitely seeing greater recognition of not only the social enterprise business model that helps ‘do more good’ in society but also greater demand for our climate-friendly catering services that reduce food waste, tackle food insecurity, and promote healthy food initiatives for families and young people.”

“Being part of the Balsall Heath community is hugely important to not only myself but the whole team. We work together to create local events that are inclusive to everyone - on Saturday 15th June 2024 we will be hosting a Clean Air Day open event working collaboratively with EcoBirmingham. We are also delighted to be providing catering for the Birmingham Disability Festival with Ways for Wellbeing UK CIC on Saturday 6th July 2024 at Birmingham City University.”

“Providing local jobs is another positive outcome from all our work and we are delighted that we will soon be advertising for a new Kitchen Manager to join our friendly team.”

To support ChangeKitchen CIC and their work to alleviate food poverty in Birmingham, businesses and individuals can find out more on the ChangeKitchen CIC website: