Migrateful is a charity that supports asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants in difficult circumstances on their journey to employment, independence and integration into the community. We do this through offering cookery classes to the public where migrant chefs share their native cuisine, culture and stories and at the same time, work toward breaking down barriers that prevent the integration of diverse and marginalised groups.
We train our chefs in practical skills such as public speaking and how to organise and run a successful cookery class. This is done through weekly training sessions that help build confidence, provide opportunities for English practice and reduces isolation through its group format. After graduating from our training program, our chefs are ready to run cookery classes for the public. These classes are very participatory and the intimacy of the setting allows for personal interactions between migrants and attendees which helps build understanding and challenges preconceptions.
Since 2017, Migrateful has trained 45 chefs from 30 countries and run 600 classes with 6000 participants; a further 13 chefs are currently in training. Chefs report that running classes make them feel more empowered and self-confident. 40% of chefs with the right to work who joined Migrateful in 2017 and 2018 have now gone on to self-employment or employment elsewhere. Participants find the classes enjoyable (97% say they would recommend them to a friend) and 41% report that the experience increased their understanding of the position of refugees. We have been working mainly in London, but are now testing our model in other parts of the country, with pilots currently being run in Bristol and Kent.