Chef Charlie Hodson helps launch charity cook book to help Meet Up in Thetford

The Benjamin Foundation has published a community cookbook to help Meet Up in Thetford - all funds f

The Benjamin Foundation has published a community cookbook to help Meet Up in Thetford - all funds from book sales will be donated to the centre. Sharon Matthews, director of operations at The Benjamin Foundation, celebrity chef Charlie Hodson, Jenna Ashworth, The Benjamin Foundation social action development worker, town, district and county councillor for Thetford Denis Crafword, and Meet Up centre manager Mike Towndrow. - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk charity is cooking up a storm to help one of its community centres fund essential repairs.

Meet Up in Thetford is attempting to raise around £30,000 to carry out maintenance work to its severely damaged roof before winter sets in.

To support the appeal The Benjamin Foundation, which manages the centre, has published a community cook book – with all proceeds from sales going to the centre on the Redcastle Furze estate.

Celebrity chef Charlie Hodson, founder of Charlie's Norfolk Food Heroes and a food and drink champion for the county, attended the launch of the cook book at Meet Up yesterday.

He said: 'Growing up in Norfolk I was always aware of how important it is to have a community focal point and a place where people can make friends, develop new interests, or find help if they need it, so I'm delighted to be here and to support The Benjamin Foundation's work at Meet Up.'

Deputy mayor of Thetford Denis Crawford and Sharon Matthews, director of operations at The Benjamin Foundation, also attended the launch, hosted by Meet Up manager Mike Towndrow.

Ms Matthews said: 'Meet Up holds a special place in the hearts of everyone at The Benjamin Foundation, because we know what a valuable resource it provides to the Thetford community.

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'Money raised from sales of the cook book could make all the difference in helping us to maintain the centre.'

Packed with 27 recipes with starters, main meals and desserts, the cookbook is designed to cater to new, nervous or time-strapped cooks, or those with small supplies of equipment.

The recipes have been donated by staff and service users at The Benjamin Foundation and Thetford residents.

Charlie also donated a recipe to the collection - his simple but satisfying tomato and new potato soup.

Ms Matthews said: 'A lot of the recipes have come from people in our sheltered accommodation. They have kitchens to cook in, but the equipment they have is quite rudimentary.'

Children from Meet Up's youth clubs were invited to the launch event along with staff from Tesco in Thetford, who donated cakes and scones.

To buy a copy of the Meet Up Community Cook Book, priced at £5, contact Jenna Ashworth at The Benjamin Foundation on 07471 033 677 or

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