Emmie’s Kitchen More than just a free meal

Emmie’s Kitchen is a charity set up by Emmie, who was diagnosed with Leukaemia when she was 8. When receiving treatment, she noticed that parents didn’t get much support and wanted to do something to help. She set up the charity to provide a meal for parents but it provides so much more.

Hospital parents are often a forgotten and invisible community, who are experiencing trauma and isolation.

Some families are living in hospital for weeks, months and years for their child to receive lifesaving treatment. This takes a huge toll on them with families being separated, parents losing their jobs and not being in a position to look after themselves properly. This includes eating nourishing and healthy food.

Whilst the hospital is amazing at looking after the children, somebody has to look after the parents and carers.

From our origins of providing a home cooked meal once a month in Ronald McDonald House prior to the pandemic, Emmie’s Kitchen has evolved and now delivers up to 150 meals per week to parents whose children are inpatients at the Royal Manchester Childrens Hospital, as well as ‘snack bags’ for distribution across the Hospital.

Emmie’s Kitchen volunteers provide emotional support to parents with their own lived experience. Emmie’s Kitchen has also been at the forefront of raising awareness about childhood cancer. Something that is difficult to talk about, and sometimes overlooked. Sadly, as Emmie’ family found out, it can happen to anyone, and turn lives upside down in an instant.

Emmie is very much the inspiration behind the project, and Emmie’s Kitchen is very proud of her being acknowledged as the Pride of Britain, Child of Courage in 2020, and the project it self as the ‘Pride of Manchester’ award winner in the 2019.

Hi, my name is Emmie, I am now 13 years old, but in 2017 when I was eight I was diagnosed with Leukaemia. The next 2 .5 years of treatment was a very scary time for me and my family. I spent lots of time in RMCH and had to battle a number of serious infections. Despite all the bad things, my family and I soon realised how lucky we were compared to other families. We lived very close to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, where I got the best treatment possible, and we had family and friends close by to support us. Not everyone was so lucky. Other families had to come from miles away, they had no friends and family close by and parents often went without food because there was no-one to bring it for them, or they couldn’t afford to keep buying from the shops.

That’s when I suggested to my mum and my Gran that maybe we could help, and the idea of Emmies Kitchen was born.

Emmies Kitchen is now 3 years old, and has proven to be a much needed service for parents staying in RMCH. I am so proud that we have been able to give support to families when they are in some of the most worrying time of their lives.

Emmie’s kitchen has provided over 10,000 hot meals and snack bags over the last 18 months .

We work with local take aways and restaurants such as Leon, the Battered Cod fish and chips, the Manchester Chinese, Jilani’s & Chico’s to provide our Friday night take away.

We also work closely with Fareshare greater Manchester and L’Oréal to provide snack bags and toiletry basics for parents and families.

The website has been written and designed by pupils at Davhulme Primary School