Evolve during lockdown

Three people stand outside Evolve holding food bags.Evolve is a Social Enterprise with a coffee shop and events space housed in Digbeth. Evolve is proud to offer well-paid, supported, meaningful employment and training opportunities to young people affected by a range of social issues, including: mental ill health and substance misuse/addiction. During the COVID-19 lockdown, Evolve had to shut its doors – however, by thinking outside the box, the team has managed to continue supporting families in the local area.

With funding from Forward Carers, Evolve has been working with the Aquarius Cares team in response to the additional pressures of COVID-19 to provide vulnerable families across Birmingham meal kits – with healthy, portioned-out ingredients and recipe cards. These kits will be prepared and delivered by volunteers, supported by staff, in the 5* rated commercial kitchens currently unused by Evolve.

Currently focussing on young carers (aged 14+) the project aims to ensure young people feel seen and cared about. It aims to reduce dinner-time stress and support positive family relationships. The project also maintains trust with these extremely vulnerable young people, keeping them connected to our services and enabling Evolve to safeguard them.

By providing recipe cards and group cook-a-longs this project aims to do more than manage the current crisis: the project simultaneously builds the skills, confidence and self-esteem of the young people. It is also a chance to have some fun, try out new recipes and build a network of budding young chefs along the way. If you’re looking to make a yummy pasta bake, red lentil cottage pie, or chocolate cookies, then the cook-a-longs are for you! Please check them out.

Evolve recipe bags.We have also set up a luxury hamper delivery service through the website where you can buy different hampers to treat yourself or nominate your ‘local hero’ to receive the goodies. There are still some hampers remaining, so why not head over to the website to order?

Most importantly, Evolve staff have been having weekly Zoom check-ins with our team of amazing young people and they are all doing well and eager to get back behind the coffee machine. Thank you so much to all the young people working so hard behind the scenes at Evolve – we are all excited to see what there is to come.