Organising meeting Sunday 26th 6.30pm

The chefs asked if we could keep Sunday evening as our weekly meeting time, and since it was pretty well attended last week, I think we can stick to this for now.

Same as last week, if you would like to dicuss something, post it in this thread and we’ll include it in the agenda.

Agenda of the meeting:

Meeting happening here:


Hi Sergiom

its Toqueer, From Birmingham Freinds of the earth, I have asked someone to help with leaflet collection from the Warehoiuse cafe, that i can collect to Oureach. can you find out when is the best time to come to collect. I am free this Thursday.

For the Agenda- do include- working in co-loboarion with smaller groups and looking at the idae of cell network kitchens opening up in the community. I know the active wellbeings ociety where going to open up their community kitchen in ladywood in april 2020, worth a check.



I think we agreed at the last meeting for there to be a finance focused meeting. Will this be part of the weekly meeting or a separate one?

Better in my opinion to do a separate one, I thought that was what we decided in the meeting but reading the minutes I’m not sure.

I will make a different thread for finance points of discussion anyway

Hey sorry bit of a long one. I likely can’t be at the meeting on sunday cause im working so here’s all the info to discuss the digbeth arts market thing. Could someone shove this in the agenda then just read out the email. it has all the info. ( basically digbeth arts space are doing a project and are raising money for us)
Here’s a coopy and paste of the emailing detailing what it is.

Hi Ciara,

Great to speak with you yesterday, we are very excited about this project. We have currently raised £120 up to date. We only launched this yesterday so super happy with the outcome. We will be contacting local businesses across the weekend so should see a lot more movement over the following week.

If you have any questions from your board meeting on Sunday, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to help.

Here are our social media link for Instagram and Facebook: @digbethartspace

Project Outline

Over the last 18 months, we have been developing Digbeth Art Space in the Zellig Building, Custard Factory, bringing Digbeth a quirky and collective art shop and market as well as a diverse gallery supporting local artists! We have grown a community of over 200 artists and brought Digbeth over 15 art exhibitions. Digbeth Art Space has one mission, to provide accessible art that welcomes all communities to enjoy and engage with.

Having closed in March and postponed 5 exhibitions due to COVID-19, we have taken the past 4 weeks in lockdown to reflect on how we bring life back to the walls of our gallery. We have realised that we are not just a gallery, shop and market; we have grown into a community hub where people can pop in, mooch, chat, share creative ideas and practice. It’s simple, we are missing the everyday face to face exchanges with our community.

We have a number of homeless people in our community that come in, chat and respectfully access Digbeth Art Space and it’s been heartbreaking to close the doors and lock the gallery down over the past couple of months. This time of reflection has allowed us to step back and look at things that are really important to us and after much reflection, we have decided to launch a new project #artforhunger.

After witnessing empty shelves in packed supermarkets and seeing the increasing need for local food banks, it is clear that access to food is unequal. We feel that the time is right to reach out to our community and beyond, to show support for the amazing things being achieved by Cooperation Birmingham Mutual Aid Kitchen.

We want to support Cooperation Birmingham Mutual Aid Kitchen who are now running a Solidarity Kitchen, a food support service which takes food directly to people. This will make more people able to self-isolate without the worry of lack of food or provisions.

Our first exhibition post lockdown will be #artforhunger at Digbeth Art Space which will portray the ongoing need for a society where food is equal.

Inspired by the iconic Andy Warhol Campbell Soup, we want to see your lockdown food tin art, which will create our first exhibition of the year #artforhunger. It is super simple to get involved, download the food tin template and design a cover for the food tin. This can represent your time during lockdown or anything that might get your taste buds tingling. We would love to see a mixture of different styles of art from digital to printed and painted, hand drawn or anything creative. You don’t have to feel that you are an artist to get involved!

So we can help make a difference, on submission of your food tin we ask that you kindly donate to our JustGiving page to help us raise funds for Cooperation Birmingham Mutual Aid Kitchen.

For full details of how you can get involved in #artforhunger and submit your masterpiece, please check out our Digbeth Art Space Project Page . We look forward to receiving your masterpiece! Stay safe everyone and see you soon!

Look forward to hearing from you.



can you also shove 10th may full electrical shutdown into the agenda. we gotta close the whole building for it and I’ve already moved it twice so this is set in stone. Sean said maybe it would be a good goal to have another kitchen open by.


Minutes from Cooperation Birmingham organising meeting 26/04/2020 at 6.30pm

Present: Seb, Ben, Sergio, Nina, Cal, Steph, Dylan, Carlos, Sean, Kaeden

Action points from this meeting:

AP: Start discussion on organisational structure/ participate on the forum - Sergio and all

AP: Talk to Sam and share cafe code of conduct on the thread - Seb


Quick updates from working groups, kitchen and mask making project


Seb: Kitchen is going really good. 140 (or 150 with drivers) is maximum at the moment including time to prepare. This is optimum. Works well. Almost always on time with food. Well organised. Best with more volunteers in the kitchen as less stressed. 

Dylan: We're going ahead with Fareshare. Sent them form and our questions today, hopefully soon we'll be able to get the food, but not sure what the price will be.

Seb: Are you able to choose things?

Dylan: You can say what kind of thing but not e.g. broccoli. Surplus food.


Nina: Making a publication about finance. Went through spreadsheets checking projections at finance meeting. £800 in one day made the projection go up. Went through expenses from the kitchen. Doing good for now. Some issues with recieving money from Gofundme platform. Not that many expenses at the moment, so ok, but we don't have the full £8k in our bank account. Matter of bureaucracy.

Ben: Other thing that came up was we looked through all the graphs. If there's anyone who isn't up to speed with what finances are like, if you click on the finance spreadsheet, linked through a thread on the forum, it's a good place to understand because there are nice graphs which are easy to interpret.

Dylan: Asked Soph if would make a blog post talking through the graphs and stuff?

Nina: Yes, was working with them this morning on that. Suggested as a facebook post but could be converted into something bigger. Describing our approach finance wise and explaining how we are getting funding, how it is being distributed, how many meals, what is the projection. Could also be blog post.

Ben: This or next week I'll speak to Paul B about grant money. That will obviously come back to a full meeting before decisions are made.

Sean: Applied for a £500 grant from Outkit foundation, and asked for material to make masks with.

Volunteer coordination

Cal: This week I met with Arron and Ella and Sean and talked about making the processes for rotas and onboarding people more systematic. I know Carlos and Leo have been making this app to automate this process. At the moment some are trying to get up to speed, but it is very labour intensive right now. Chat about checking in with volunteers more and keeping track of and updating records. New email for volunteers now, and a lot (about 60 people) people who haven't been onboarded but are waiting to be assigned roles, but not had time yet.

Nina: Issue with drivers with issues going to backroom 2 rather than backroom 3. More a rota thing.

Mask making

Sean: Still quite rocky. 2 days ago 30 masks were collected. I'm struggling as am only point person so haven't onboarded everyone. Trying to get a sewing machine or two distributed and speaking to people at Fiz Pop or from a school to loan to some people. Blog post is up. Went to Labout party meeing today and mentioned it there. Would be good to have the masks in packs with info about them, the guidelines, and Coop Brum, rather than just masks. Getting there. Trying to rely on new people who are engaged and excited about that. 

Seb: Would maybe like sewing machine, but true we're all doing a lot.

Dylan: Wondering if some kitchen volunteers might like to make masks too.

Sean: Would be good to update about podcast if we had more going on, which we don't right now.

Working in collaboration with smaller groups and looking at the idae of cell network kitchens opening up in the community - Toqueer

Dylan: Came up in volunteer meeting. We've been saying this for a while. Sean has been talking to Stirchley Baths so maybe it is worth talking about.

Cal: The MIX is active right now, Hassain cooking for young asylum seekers who normally cook at the mix. Worth knowing that this is existing.

Sergio: After a few weeks we are starting to consolidate a nice structure. Possible for us to support other smaller kitchens with our WGs if they wish to integrate so we could offer support e.g. with logistics or admin or finance. Planned a bit in the structure I will show later.

Seb: Are there other kitchens? Custard factory? Are we able to choose who we cooperate with? Are there guidelines?

Sean: At the moment, Stirchley Baths is empty so it would be us expanding, which is a different case to the mix. SOunds like not all the equipment is there, but industrial kitchen which was used by changekitchen. Person who runs that now working for TAWS - they are not going to do that anymore. We have permission from council and stirchley baths to use that, but would need to provide proof of risk assessment and other things. Olly said his wife has cheffing experience and would be up for working in that kitchen. That led onto conversation about Northfield YMCA which current houses homeless people. Have delivered to a couple of people there already. The YMCA are saying they don't have a kitchen in their building but are housing all these vulnerable adults. Would we like to provide them hot meals? Would be goodwill towards council and Olly. But want to be sure we're providing a service that the YMCA should be providing - probably responsibility of council. SOudns like 60 people who currrenely aren't getting regular food. Not a worry of not enough people to provide food for.

Seb: Is the Stirchley Bath kitchen something we can use soon?

Sean: Yes, we can use as soon as we provide the info they want.

Dylan: Plenty of demand on waiting list. Not a concern. My concern would be that it doesn't just add work for more chefs and volunteers, but also adds more logistical work, so would need a whole seperate rota. How would you do the backroom? How would you decide which one goes where? Cookign different things? Where would the Fareshare go?

Sergio: Also suggest we have a seperate logistics WG. Is it possible with our capacity? We will see and then try to decide.

Sean: Think there's probably a lot of capacity to get more volunteers if we get the kitchen. In Stirchley so many people. Need a whole meeting about how the council.

Seb: Make sure anyone who takes on organising knows how labour intensive it is.

Sergio. Agree with Sean. Proposal that we ask for something.

Dylan: Could stand to be more outwardly political. Could be less chill vibes. Worth coming up with simple principles of the project e.g. mutual aid over charity, sustainability, etc. which would give us some basis on which we'd say yes or no to people and what would guide us in decisions. Get people to buy into this or not, so we don't lose sight of the political ideas of the project. Can people do some logistics feasability work and think about the council.

Seb: Would be good to be more political. 

Sean: Suggest we organise a meeting with Olly and his wife to talk about it. Needs other chefs to step up. If anyone wants to be in this meeting, please say and I'll make a DM group on the forum so it actually happens. 

Seb, Dylan, Ben also want to be involved.

10th of May electrical shutdown - Ciara

Seb: Usually happened on Mondays when the cafe was closed. If we want to serve food that day it will need to be another kitchen. Otherwise a day of rest.

Carlos: Would be a problem with drivers to be from south birmingham.

Dylan: Need a plan for if we don't have second kitchen e.g. publicity.

Sean: Could prepare and have additional drivers to make it easier.

Seb: Other solution is that the day before there would be two shifts. One in the morning cooking 150 portions then evening cooking 150 portions if anyone is up for this.

Ben: Does this mean we can't go in the building at all? Can we still use the building for distribution?

Cal: Should set a deadline for when we'll know e.g. a week to sort this out, otherwise it's shit to let people know they won't have food at short notice.

Dylan: By this time next week we need to have discussed this amongst ourselves and review it at the next meeting.

Email from Digbeth Arts Space - Ciara (read out email)

Sergio: Really cool that they and D who is organising pub quiz, are raising funds for us.

Organisational structure and expansion plan (inc stirchley baths)- Sergio

Sergio shared his screen. Need admin and outreach WG, logistics and processes WG. Include mailing list in comms and SM group.

Stirchley SK, community allotment, emotional support, and more could be supported. If we agree with this, should talk about defining roles for each WG.

Dylan: Looks good to me and agree with it. Does anyone disagree?

Seb: Looks really nice.

Sergio: Suggest I make a post on the forum with this diagram and see if we can get some feedback. After that we restructure the WGs and recruit so they can all work semi-autonomously.

AP: Start that discussion/ participate on the forum - Sergio and all.

Seb: Are all of these operating at the moment?

Sergio: Logistics and processes is new. 

Dylan: You are operations of SK.

Adopting a code of conduct/welfare provision - Dylan

Dylan: There is already a thread discussing this on the forum, but want to adopt a code of conduct - ties in but is separate from principles. About how people behave within the project. Wondered if there was some welfare support, if people have a difficult situation. Have a little process we can have a look if there are interpersonal issues. Worth thinking about these things in advance.

Seb: Is this proposal about who would like to start writing it down?

Dylan: To let people know that we're thinking about it and can be involved.

Seb: Could base this on our code of conduct from HR group of cafe.

AP: Talk to Sam and share cafe code of conduct on the thread - Seb

Update on the organisation app being developed - Carlos

Carlos shared his screen. Leo and I are developing an app for the rota and maybe anything else we want to automate. It will have several roles. Would create new password. Mainly 2 roles at the moment. "shift managers" and people who just want to see their shifts. Can see upcoming shifts, can create new shifts. Can create rota and calendar. Now a matter of adding more forms. Idea is that we create shift and assign people to it. System will send email with link so they can confirm so no need to call. Some bugs but just need more time. Couldn't find anything that was already out there. 

Sergio: Would we be able to see a calendar with all shifts? Would people be able to apply for shifts? Rota showing taken/free and can apply from it and confirmed by someone then that shift is automatically assigned.

Carlos: Will start releasing next week. Calendar will take more time. At the moment there is not volunteers applying for shift but can be done. Could be min and max and ideal numbers of volunteers. If it was not complete people could sign up to it.

Cal: This is amazing. Today I've been phoning and getting people who've done shifts and ask whether they want to do repeating shifts. Quite a lot of people who want to do the same every week. How would they do that if they wanted to do kitchen every Tuesday? How would the system fit people who already have that agreement? The interface looks just like the screen for UC.

Carlos: Can even make a tick box for repeating. Think it is still a good idea for volunteers to confirm every week.

Cal: Automated emails are great. People have such particular situations. Good to have lots of confirmation. Easy way for app to transfer to real person to person conversation. How do you bridge the gap if someone needs to get hold of someone? Trying to minimise work but good to talk to people.

Carlos: Could have contact details and database and notes for each volunteer. Created Coop Brum github group with Leo, Carlos, Stu, and others who want to contribute. Open source. Talked with Leo on how to host this? Calculations would be £20-30 pcm. For future.

Seb: Did we decide on any press releases? How do we make this happen?

Dylan: Bo wrote a press release, will need to be updated now. Needs some work put in and put their phone number down to talk to the press.

Sean: Me and Kae have been talking about social media. I was trying to do my AP of onboarding people so they can be added to a Whatsapp group. Also some people talking about film. Would like to talk to those people soon. At the moment only Kae and Seb doing SM stuff and there are lots of people who want to volunteer here.

Dylan: Could ask Bo if he could carry on with that job. People could take blog content for press releases?

Seb: Do we have any contacts in newspapers? How do we do it? Do we ask them to print?

Cal: I've done a press release once. You write a condensed summary of the situation. Make it quite snappy. The journalist writes the article but you write an invitation to talk to you. 

Dylan: There is a contact for differnt things on most news websites. Did have old list. But quite easy to contact people we need to . If people want to take this on it's cool.

Seb: Good to have contacts and friendly journalists.

Dylan: Can discuss this on Bo's thread about the press release on the forum.

Action points from last meeting:

None recorded

Action Points:

Next meeting: Sunday 3rd May 6:30pm