This seminar was the launch of our research report about Centrestage’s distinct approach to dignified food provision.

Oliver Escobar and Fiona McKenzie at the launch of the Centrestage report in January 2017

Oliver Escobar and Fiona McKenzie at the launch of the Centrestage report

The need for food provision is growing in the UK and the shame and stigma of resorting to foodbanks are significant barriers to access for those needing support. Solving food poverty and the causes of increased foodbank use may take time; meanwhile, there is a clear need for immediate innovations in the provision of services.

Centrestage is a charity that uses food and the arts to engage people, helping to improve their life chances and (re)build communities.

This seminar launched our research report about Centrestage’s innovative food provision programme in some of the most deprived areas of North and East Ayrshire. The programme helps people to access support, address underlying problems, build relationships and develop capacity for community action.

The launch event

Around 60 people came to the event to hear a live interview with Centrestage’s co-director Fiona McKenzie; a presentation of key research findings; short reflections by funders, policy-makers and academics; and table conversations to share your thoughts and experiences.

The speakers included:

  • Fiona McKenzie & Paul Mathieson (Centrestage)
  • Rachel McKechnie (Scottish Government)
  • Lynn Hendry (Hunter Foundation)
  • Briege Nugent (University of Edinburgh)
  • Dr Hayley Bennett (University of Edinburgh / What Works Scotland)

The event was hosted by Oliver Escobar, Co-director of What Works Scotland at the University of Edinburgh.

  • Date: 10 January 2017
  • Location: Grassmarket Community Project


Read and download the full research report and summary report Fun, food, folk: the Centrestage approach to dignified food provision

Written by Briege Nugent and Oliver Escobar, the report shows how Centrestage achieves impact, and draws lessons to inform policy and practice.


See more at #funfoodfolk