Chefs join campaign to save charity


Martin Wishart and Tom Kitchen have launched a crowdfunder which aims to raise £50,000 to save Pilton Community Health Project

15th February 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Two of the country’s top chefs have backed a campaign to save a community organisation.

Martin Wishart and Tom Kitchin have launched a crowdfunding campaign which aims to salvage Pilton Community Health Project (PCHP).

The future of the organisation, which has provided vital support to the vulnerable in Edinburgh for 35 years, was thrown into doubt after it fell victim to community funding cuts last December.

The Michelin starred pair have lent their support to a campaign to raise the £50,000 required to save PCHP.  Both Kitchin and Wishart have offered incentives and rewards to boost the project’s 28 day #SavePCHP crowdfunding campaign, including dinner for two tasting menus and matching wines at their Michelin-starred Leith restaurants – The Kitchin and Restaurant Martin Wishart – for the first donors to pledge £1,000 or more.

A statement from the chefs said: “We are delighted to add our support to this campaign. Leith and North Edinburgh have played a big part in our story so it’s great to be involved in saving the lifelines so many local people rely on.

“We are passionate about food, and about food education and food security, and PCHP plays a really important role in ensuring everyone can access and cook healthy, nutritious meals. It’s vital that these and other services continue.”

Edinburgh Integrated Joint Board said 152 grant applications for funding were received covering the next three financial years, totalling £31million, but it only had £14.1 million available to spend.

Groups in the north of the city have pledged to work together to fight the cuts, with seven local organisations affected: PCHP, Drylaw Neighbourhood Centre, Muirhouse Millennium Centre, Pilton Equalities Project, North West Carers, North Edinburgh Timebank and the Almond Mains Initiative.

A meeting to discuss the cuts was held earlier this week, as the groups look to highlight the effect withdrawing the funding will have.

Julie Smith, who chaired the meeting, said there it had never been suggested the organisations were not doing a good job or were not needed. “These cuts have come out of nowhere,” she said. “There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to them given they were supporting all the government and council targets on reducing inequality and poverty and social isolation.”