Michelin-starred support for Scotland’s oldest community health project

Two of Scotland’s top chefs have added their support to the campaign to save the Pilton Community Health Project (PCHP).

Martin Wishart and Tom Kitchin helped launch a crowdfunding campaign that aims to raise at least £50,000 to help prevent PCHP having to close its doors to some of North Edinburgh’s most vulnerable residents.

PCHP, which is Scotland’s oldest community health project, was told in late December last year that its funding was being withdrawn by the new Edinburgh Integrated Joint Board for health and social care funding in the city. 

In the 35 years it has been in existence, PCHP has transformed thousands of lives.  The project provides a range of services to fight the often overwhelming results of health inequality in Edinburgh including mental health counselling, tackling food insecurity, cooking groups and community meals, tackling social isolation and loneliness, community crèche for local affordable childcare, and support for victims of domestic abuse. 

By raising £50,000 the campaign will allow PCHP to continue to deliver a reduced level of its life changing services, for 12 months, until longer-term funding is secured again.

The 28 day crowdfunding campaign on www.savepchp.com allows anyone to pledge a donation – large or small – to ensure the project can continue its lifeline services.

Both Tom Kitchin and Martin 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.

PCHP provides vital services, including a creche, link working and counselling.

Launching the crowd-funding campaign for PCHP, both Tom Kitchin and Martin Wishart 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.” 

Between January and December 2018, PCHP has:

  • Provided mental health counselling to around 50 pupils at local high schools
  • Worked with 42 people to provide adult counselling assessment appointments and 48 people attend regular counselling
  • Supported over 140 women who are victims of domestic abuse or facing other difficulties in their lives
  • Supported over 353 people who are new and settled immigrants, from 20 different countries
  • Helped over 788 people access hot nutritious food and make social connections through community meals
  • Provided 204 people with regular cooking groups, clubs and/or food related training leading to qualifications
  • Supported 602 people and their families to access food through our local Sharing Shelves initiative and tackle holiday hunger with family food boxes
  • Encouraged and supported over 467 people to lead healthier lives by getting them more physically active
  • Trained and supported 30 local volunteer physical activity leaders
  • Worked with 933 people and linked them into 249 services and resources through the GP Link Worker Service