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Laura Gaga Saving money and food

Our columnist tells us about her evening with Life After Hummus

We ramen, I wanna ramen with you. We ramen, I hope you like ramen, too.

A Friday evening back in December, I was jammin’ – see what I did there! – at Somers Town community centre, north London, the venue for vegan ramen community cooking class with Yoshi Sato, hosted by Life after Hummus (lifeafterhummus.com). Life after Hummus is a black minority ethnic (BME) led non-profit, social enterprise, which was founded in 2016, offering a mix of free and low-cost, plant-based cookery classes. They operate within an intersectional framework, meaning that they seek to teach healthy, nutritious recipes, and improve culinary skills to all, irrespective of gender, race and social position. Their motto is ‘health is a right and not a privilege’. During the evening, team leader, Farrah Rainfly, described intersectionality as treating one another with ‘human kindness’. Asking that we worked together in small groups, some of us with people we’d never met before, sharing the cooking and cleaning before sitting down to eat our meal with one another. I joined a table, forming a small group of five of us.

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About Be Kind

Hello, A lot of the good news we read about in the press is from towns, cities or countries that aren’t our own, and whilst it’s fantastic to hear of successful stories or schemes in a place far from yours, it’s always really exciting to learn of great things happening on your home turf. I moved back to my home town in Essex a few years ago, after stints overseas and in London. With most of my adolescence spent here, the streets are lined with memories, but I felt a disconnect as I grew up and wanted to seek out likeminded people and pastures new. I returned with a sense of trepidation and, probably, a slightly irritating snobbery. But things have changed and I was wrong. Take Best Days Vintage, for example (p74). Based in the heart of town, they caught my eye a while back when I saw a sign outside offering free help and advice for anyone who didn’t know how to register to vote. The vintage store is not only promoting sustainable shopping, but they have created a safe space for young people to come and talk about their problems – they’re focused on building a community and spreading positivity. My hairdressers, a converted double decker bus (@originalbutton), recently posted on Instagram about their decision to make the salon an #antigossipsalon. Gone are the celebrity gossip mags and in their place is a book swap corner. They want to use their position to spread kindness and create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. I think it’s a fantastic idea. You might think there is nothing going on in your locality, but kind people are making things happen everywhere. We all need to open our eyes and ears to the great things going on nearby and lend our support – and who knows, maybe you could be the next person to start a positive movement in motion. Have a great month, Phillipa Editor