Food for the Soul: The Ministry of Comfort and Joy launches legacy pack

Ministry of Comfort and Joy legacy pack cover with logo and a pin board covered with food photos

Launched in direct response to the covid crisis, The Ministry of Comfort and Joy last year harnessed the power of food to connect and uplift over 100 people in the city, including many of those hit hardest by the pandemic. 

Supported by Coventry City of Culture Trust, the team at Tales from Coventry Tables worked with 18 partner organisations to develop their own festive food projects, which reached a total of 1,072 individuals in Coventry, including refugees, the elderly, children in care and those experiencing homelessness.

Organisations that took part in the project included Foleshill Social Supermarket, Coventry Haven Women’s Aid, CARAG and Carriers of Hope, with projects ranging from Makaton lip-sync battles and outdoor art, to card-making, dinner deliveries and a film night. Each organisation was guided through the process, from planning and applying for funding through to delivery of their idea.

But central to the initiative was the aim of building a lasting legacy, equipping local organisations with the tools they need to continue to run their own events and activities.

Christmas pudding shaped chocolates created by Fridays Coventry

Christmas pudding shaped chocolates created by Fridays Coventry

Plates of food served by Carriers of Hope

Plates of food served by Carriers of Hope

It’s with this in mind that Tales from Coventry Tables have this week launched a detailed legacy pack, filled with tips on pitching and applying for funding, useful case studies, and a variety of example documents such as project proposals, risk assessments and evaluation reports. The hope is that the pack will serve as a valuable tool, not only for those who previously took part in the project, but for anyone with a brilliant idea they need some guidance to realise.

Flo Swann and Ellie McCann of Tales from Coventry Tables said: “We were humbled by the commitment and tenacity of the people that we worked with. All of our partner organisations went several extra miles to help their clients and service users get a mood boost at the end of this difficult year.

“There’s often a lot of paperwork involved in applying for funding and running a project, so we hope the examples in the pack will be of use to people. We also hope that as people read the pack they are inspired by our partners and their projects to feel they could do something similar using the ideas and support on offer.”

The Ministry of Comfort and Joy set out to build on the success of FEAST, which in 2019 brought several socially active organisations together to share food and entertainment at Coventry Cathedral. The event was run by Coventry City of Culture Trust in partnership with three of its host organisations: Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre, Positive Youth Foundation and Central England Law Centre.

While it wasn’t possible to physically unite large groups of people in one space last year, The Ministry of Comfort and Joy is testament to Coventry’s resilience, creativity and resourcefulness in adapting to the challenges of 2020, and to the kindness and generosity of those committed to bringing happiness to those who needed it the most, under incredibly difficult circumstances.

Reindeer-shaped cellophane bags of hot chocolate powder and marshmallows from Creative Kindness

Reindeer-shaped cellophane bags of hot chocolate powder and marshmallows from Creative Kindness

Jacqui Gavin, Senior Producer for our Caring City team, said: “I am delighted that through this, and despite everything Covid threw at us, we were able to bring over 1000 people a moment of festive cheer. We hope that we can build on this for 2021/2 and that, when we are able to be together, these amazing organisations and their people will share in a feast in person during our year of culture.”

Fancy running your own community project? If you’d like to have a go, you can follow the link below to download the pack where you’ll find guides to help you plan, fund and manage your event. And if you still have questions, or want to stay in the loop about similar projects in future, drop an email to [email protected], and Flo and Ellie will be happy to help if they can!



Hear from Creative Kindness, Coventry Youth Activists and Fridays Coventry about their project as part of The Ministry of Comfort & Joy in the video testimonial below.

Coventry Youth Activists Testimonial

Creative Kindness Testimonial

Fridays Coventry Testimonial