Warm Welcome Hero: Scott Olliver from Celebration Church Maidstone

November 2023
Celebration Church Maidstone's Warm Welcome Space

Meet Scott Olliver, a Warm Welcome Space leader at the Celebration Church Maidstone. Their church is open every Monday and Thursday, creating a welcoming haven for everyone. Scott's passion is all about transforming communities by sharing good food, and encouraging families to cook together.

"We have people from all different faiths, people who disagree, and it’s a safe place for everyone to be able to communicate. What we found is that food brings people to the table."

Scott's passion extends to transforming his community through food. "What we do predominantly are food boxes, so people get fresh pre-packaged ingredients to take home and cook together with the family." Over the last two years, an incredible 25,000 meals have been delivered. Recipes are shared on their website, fostering a culture of healthy, budget-friendly cooking, where children can join in as well. Scott's vision goes beyond Maidstone; he aspires to share their successful food parcel model across the UK.

“I am really happy that I managed to find out about Warm Welcome Spaces this year, because I imagine lots of you do things holistically to support people across the UK. It’s beautiful to be able to engage with such a wider network of people who have different beliefs but the same core belief that we’re all people, and people need somewhere warm to go and a loving person to be able to talk to and to be able to build community in their community.

We deal with so many isolated people who are surrounded by other isolated people. They’ve got a community in themselves pre-built and they don’t even know it, and we’re privileged to give them the space to express that for themselves.”

Scott has only been doing this work for three years. Previously, he was a printer salesman who was made redundant during COVID. “The person I was volunteering for said; “Brilliant!” And I said; “What do you mean?” And then before you know it, I was thrown into this church life. I’m lucky I get to work with my wife and everyday we get to support people.”

You can find out more by visiting: https://www.celebrationchurch.org.uk/celebrate-family-food

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