Steve Page, of The Hook and Line, talks about working with Arterne CIC providing meals for vulnerable families across Plymouth
Steve Page is the owner of The Hook and Line, the quirky, specialist Rum Bar and restaurant at the Royal William Yard. Here, Steve talks about his involvement with Arterne CIC non-profit and Operation Snow to provide free, hot meals to vulnerable families in Plymouth, Marcus Rashford and what he would change if he was PM,
How did you get involved with the campaign and what is The Hook and Line offering?
In my previous career I was involved with various charities, local education authorities and vulnerable children. Despite a career change to hospitality, having seen first-hand what poverty does to families and particularly children – I remain committed to my charity work and can use the platform I have as a business owner to further support those in need.
I became involved in Operation Snow through my links with Arterne CIC non-profit as a director. After seeing the great work Summer Operation Snow #notjustforchristmas was doing during the first lockdown, I met with Cindy Willcox to see how the Hook & Line could help through the winter months. Our head chef Amber Lau came up with a delicious version of our seafood chowder that kids and adults love!
We also have plans to offer online cooking demos and fun fishing tutorials for kids and adults. Hopefully one day soon we can run these educational events in person!
What did you think of the campaign spearheaded by Marcus Rashford, and was this a catalyst for offering hot meals across the Plymouth area?
It was truly inspirational to see a young man, in the public eye, using his profile to influence government in this positive way. I think it was most certainly the catalyst for many businesses in Plymouth and around the country to join the effort to help. The ripple effect has been astonishing and heart-warming. However, the very sad fact is that children are still going hungry today.
How can families that need your help get involved?
Times are particularly hard for everyone now and as a society we need to reduce the stigma attached to reaching out for help. There can be a feeling of guilt or shame when asking for help, so of course, we keep any contact entirely confidential. The scheme very simple to access, you can call yourself or on behalf of someone you are concerned about on: 07554 665 461, email or visit the Arterne CIC Facebook page.
How many people have now benefitted from the campaign and how long will it last?
Since the start of November 2020, a total of 180 hot, nutritional meals have been prepared by the Hook and Line and Suphas, Plymouth and delivered by Operation Snow. Together, we aim to provide over 1,000 further meals during next phase of the project this winter.
If you were PM for the day, what policy would you put in place to counter the issues of families going hungry?
Reducing poverty and health inequalities would be my absolute priority. I would look to effectively commission grassroot community projects, supporting the most vulnerable people. It’s through working together and inspiring communities that change happens. Although, I have to add, I’m very happy with my day job!
Tell us a little bit about the work you are doing with Arterne CIC and Operation Snow?
The Hook and Line is delighted to be working with Arterne CIC non-profit and Operation Snow to provide free, hot meals to vulnerable families in Plymouth this winter. The effect of the pandemic on jobs and livelihoods has been devastating for so many and means this support is more crucial than ever. To do our small part, we’re using all fresh ingredients to create hearty, warming meals, that are high in nutrition, as well as delicious. We simply prepare and package up, ready to be collected and taken to the community. I’ve been out on a few of the delivery runs, which brings it home to me just how much the help is needed.