Kitchen open to all

Lockyer Community Centre staff Corrie Verbeeten and Gillian Holton at the opening of the centre's 'Our Kitchen is Your Kitchen.'

People living rough can find a bit of comfort in a hot meal and warm drink at the Lockyer Community Centre’s new camp kitchen.

‘Our Kitchen is Your Kitchen’ is a small shed with a kettle, sandwich press, toaster, microwave, and fridge for people who are homeless to come and make themselves a hot meal or drink.

Lockyer Community Centre management committee president Julie Dorrington said they identified the need for the facilities as several people came to the centre asking to use their kitchen to cook.

“We’ve been wanting to do something for the homeless,” she said.

“Most people can afford the food they just have got nowhere to keep it.

“This way they can go and buy themselves a frozen veggie meal, come here and cook it, sit in the garden and eat it, make yourself at home.”

Centre staff will open the kitchen from 9am until 3pm on workdays.

It is located at the back of the complex at the entrance to the garden.

There is tea, coffee and sugar, and all other ingredients are BYO.

Centre co-ordinator Gillian Holton said people were welcome to come and use the kitchen without having to come to see the staff if they don’t want to.

“It’s just a small bit of support to let them have their autonomy, in being able to just come into the site, go and make a cup of coffee, cup of tea, heat up a bit of food, make a piece of toast, anything like that, without having to come and see us, so there’s not that embarrassment of asking for a cup of coffee,” she said.

As the name suggests, people are encouraged to take responsibility for the kitchen and treat it as their own.

“We’re hoping it will be self-regulatory,” Miss Dorrington said.

“If you get people that are spoiling it, then we might just have to close it, but we don’t want to do that.

“If people can just tidy up after themselves, don’t leave your scraps or rubbish, there will be bins, keep it nice for yourself and for others.”

The kitchen was officially opened at the centre’s Harmony Day lunch on 20 March.

The initiative was spearheaded by Lockyer Community Centre manager Linda Roberts, who was unfortunately unable to attend the opening.