St Austell Community Kitchen (STAK), which has been supporting the vulnerable, needy and homeless for about 25 years, is one of the winners of No. 10’s Big Society Awards.

STAK is open six days a week, offering affordable lunch and teatime menus to vulnerable and socially isolated/excluded members of society, as well as offering courses, clubs, signposting, friendship and partnership working with a great many agencies, charities and statutory bodies.

“Clearly we are thrilled and honoured to win this award as it affirms that everything we do at STAK is about Big Society within our local community,” says its chairman, Adam Harris.

“We recognise that bad luck can happen to anyone, and usually this comes as a combination of life events that can have devastating consequences, leading to chaotic lives and choices. When people are down on their luck, and lacking both the skills and self confidence to address their problems, STAK is there to help.

“As a team we engender a safe and welcoming family environment, where people can come to first stabilise, and then start to make progress in rebuilding their lives.

“Most of our volunteers, and indeed some of our trustees, were originally clients, and through the help and support that STAK offers they have gained new skills and self confidence to become active and valued members of the community in which they live.”

As the recession continues to bite, many churches around the country are actively addressing the social needs they see around them. Thousands of churches in England are quietly serving disadvantaged or vulnerable members of their community and making a significant contribution to society.

This has been confirmed in a national survey of church-led social action compiled by the Church Urban Fund which has found that:

  • 54% of parishes – equating to more than 6,500 of the 12,512 parishes in England – run organised activities to address at least one social need in their community
  • 82% of parishes – equating to more than 10,000 – have been asked for help by people in their community and in response have provided informal support.


STAK’s address is 8 High Cross Street, St Austell, Cornwall PL25 4AB and its team can be contacted on 01726 77457 or at,


Twitter: @stakstaustell