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We are delighted that a new project, Kitchen of Hope, launched at the end of 2023, which gives our sanctuary seeking volunteers an opportunity to use their skills and knowledge to cook dishes from their home countries.

St Simon’s Church in Southsea, offered their kitchens to the volunteers, who have all passed food hygiene tests, to create dishes for special events and for community groups to enjoy.




Our Kitchen of Hope volunteers started off the new year 2024 with a communal meal cooked by our chefs at St Simon’s.





During the first few months of this year, they will be focusing on community and sharing the food they love from home with people and communities across Portsmouth, such as for the rough sleepers hub, and two community Iftars as part of Ramadan.

 A St. Simon’s event organiser said “We were thrilled to have Kitchen of Hope cater our event. The food was absolutely delicious, all the guests were raving about it. The team was professional and so friendly. We will definitely use them again in the future and would highly recommend them.”

Who? Our chefs and volunteers are largely asylum seekers and refugees, although we welcome other local foodies to get involved and help us grow.

Where? Based at St Simon’s Church in Southsea, but we also cook for events at other locations across the city.

When? Currently we cook for two or three events each month, although with more volunteer chefs and keen volunteers we hope to cook more regularly.



Why? Help our chefs feel more at home and integrated in Portsmouth. Nurture Portsmouth’s culinary diversity and culture, celebrate festivals and community, support career development and have fun.


Want to support or get involved? Please connect with us on Portsmouth City of Sanctuary’s Instagram @portsmouthcityofsanctuary or Facebook @PortsmouthCityofSanctuary.

Next event! The Secret of Grain, All Saints Church, 23 March, 5pm. Dine with Making Waves Film Festival and Portsmouth City of Sanctuary at All Saints Church and enjoy a cinematic dining experience. Celebrate Ramadan with us and break the fast (Iftar) while watching Abdellatif Kechiche’s award-winning ‘The Secret of the Grain’ (2007). This exclusive community-curated event includes an authentic North African meal cooked by refugees working with Kitchen of Hope.