Free Community Lunch draws Huge Interest from Hayle Residents

Hayle Hub Community Meal October 2016Hayle Hub Community Meal October 2016Transition Penwith's Hayle Hub proved the proverb wrong that “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”, when over 60 residents from the town and nearby area attended the Day Centre on Sunday to enjoy exactly that.

The local Hub seeks to build positive communities through fun initiatives that promote wide-ranging areas, from social inclusion to sustainability. The hub offered this free lunch to anyone in the area keen to book on, and sought donations from local farms to enable it to happen. The aim was to celebrate the diversity of people in and around Hayle, and to encourage the use of locally-grown foods.

To attract members of Hayle’s elderly population who may not get out much at the weekends, the event was held at the Hayle Day Centre to make it easier for users of this setting to come along. Attractions were offered that drew in young families too: Hayle-based story teller Samuel Marsden enthralled children with his recently published book, Cornish Tales. With the Emergency Services Community Station just next door, the fire service kindly took up the suggestion to show a fire engine just outside the Day Centre which children (and adults too!) loved exploring. Locally-based Cuban band, Rumba Diablo, was the perfect addition to the wonderfully upbeat atmosphere.

Another table at the Hayle Hub Community Meal October 2016Another table at the Hayle Hub Community Meal October 2016Before serving up a home-cooked meal of vegetable stew and apple crumble, one of the organisers, Jane Haskings, told guests about the hub’s aims of the day. She explained how eating locally-produced food reduces food miles and helps keep money in the county; vegetables for the stew were very kindly donated from nearby farms, Bosavern Community Farm, Trevaskis and Richards. New small local business Bosparva Bakery kindly provided bread for the event, topped up by donations from Vicky’s Bread and Archie Browns in Penzance. Apples for the dessert were from Jane’s own garden. Leftover food was given away at the end of the day in keeping with the Hub’s message about reducing food waste, and thinking twice before binning food.

A regular user of the Day Centre, 90 year old Robert Hopkins lives just outside Hayle. He said “The food was delicious, and the volunteers serving us were so helpful. But the best thing of all was just sitting down at a table and even though I didn’t know anyone, everyone was so friendly and easy to start up nice conversations with. On a Sunday I wouldn’t normally go out anywhere, so it was so good to have this event today”.

Storytelling at the Hayle Hub Community Meal October 2016Storytelling at the Hayle Hub Community Meal October 2016Jane said “This was a really positive day and wouldn’t have happened without the hard work of 11 locals who volunteered their time on the day, or the kind suppliers who donated us food. We were so pleased with the numbers who came; it showed that Hayle is ready for grass-roots events where people come together to enjoy communal dining and spending time together. We had a few families who are brand new to Hayle, so it was good to be able to welcome them to the town”.

The Hub is thinking a similar dining event could be held next year, perhaps a ‘pot luck’ dinner where everyone brings along a plate to share, with elders being catered for. The Hayle Hub is holding its next gathering on 22 November, 7.30pm at the Cornish Arms pub. Everyone is welcome from Hayle and the surrounding area; bring any ideas of things you’d like to see happening in this area.

For more information about the Hayle Hub visit