A year-long ‘supper club’ scheme is bringing together recently moved in residents and established members of the community.

The Waltham Forest Council initiative, Welcome Meals, was launched last week.

Part of the borough’s connecting communities programme, the initiative aims to “mobilise neighbours to create a network of support in the community for new residents by bringing people together through a universal love of food.”

Sal Asghar, head of connecting communities commented, said: “Waltham Forest has a proud history of welcoming people from all over the world. We are really excited about the launch of our Welcome Meals initiative as we are determined to support people who move into our borough.”

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The launch of Welcome Meals was attended by 10 new residents to the borough. Photo: Simon Warren

The council, which is trialling ways to reduce social isolation, says the programme will focus on vulnerable social groups.

Of the thirty residents in attendance at the launch on Wednesday, November 27, ten moved into the borough over the past twelve months, with the rest composed of members of the community and members of the public sector.

Meals are provided by the Hornbeam Community Cafe and Environment Centre in Hoe Street, Walthamstow.

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Established Waltham Forest residents welcome new members of the community. Photo: Simon Warren

The centre will hold a total of 48 Welcome Meals across the borough over the next year.

Mr Asghar added: “The person next door who is new to the borough may be a young family staying in temporary accommodation, an asylum seeker or economic migrant who may not be familiar with English or how to access necessary support in this country.

“Creating structures which help new residents to build connections at a community level will help new arrivals to thrive. Food has always been a great unifier.”

“Waltham Forest contains an amazing volume of residents who are only too happy to help fellow residents and neighbours and we’re really excited to help channel their amazing generosity and sense of community.”

Welcome Meals are free, but residents must RSVP in order to attend.

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Welcome Meals are provided by the Hornbeam Community Cafe. Photo: Simon Warren