Student aims to discover Hope Kitchen’s impact on Oban

Catriona Petit, Mary MacDonald, Margaret Martin and Taylor Johnston. 17_T23_HopeKitchen01

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An American student has been travelling between Oban and Edinburgh for the past month to determine the impact Hope Kitchen has on the  community.

Taylor Johnson, who is from Minnesota and is studying international and social research at Edinburgh University, said the Oban charity was ‘amazing’.

Taylor has been running various activities, such as focus groups and interviews in the charity’s premises on Soroba Road.

‘Hope Kitchen is amazing,’ the 21-year-old said. ‘It has been so inspiring being here and seeing the impact it has.

‘We are focused on how we can show the impact that Hope Kitchen is having through telling people’s stories. I have been trying to do that and also trying to get some feedback on the services and the food that Hope offers – in that regard everyone loves Hope so much. It’s difficult to get critical feedback. Everyone is so nice.’

Hope not only provides hot meals and company to people in the community, the charity also doubles up as a foodbank and delivers parcels to those in need.

Taylor said that she had heard stories about people from neighbouring villages travelling to Oban to visit Hope.

‘I feel like if you come here more than once, you do feel like part of the family. I will be doing research for Hope and making a report that outlines the team’s impact.’

Catriona Petit from Hope said: ‘Taylor has been really good. It is a really huge project she is doing for us because we really need to understand the needs that we have.

‘We want to make sure we are doing the best job that we can. So this project will help us do that.’