Welcome back to our Step it Up Campaign, where our aim is to inspire others to become more active in charity work by sharing stories of social responsibility. Here is our first interview.
Meet Hülya Erdal
Our very first Step It Up interviewee is Hülya Erdal of www.madebythechef.com, a private chef and cookery teacher, who has also made a number of appearances on TV. Hülya’s clients have included Linklaters, Nestle, Allianz, Tesco, Axa and New York University, as well a private families.
How did this come about?
“I ended up teaching 14 cookery classes for Fareshare UK, working with families from deprived areas, the homeless, domestic shelters, vulnerable groups such as those recovering from alcohol and drug addiction as well as low income families. The connection came via a charity-based cookery school, Central Street, where I teach regularly and had already been teaching local communities. They’re based in Old Street, which can be quite a funky area, but it’s also a very deprived area. Fareshare UK is a charity where food that is close to its sell by date is collected from supermarkets and passed onto charities who can do something with it. I put together recipes that helped people eat well with basic, simple ingredients and basic cookery skills.”
Why was it a good fit for you?
“I’ve grown up in a deprived area of London, I’m working class and have experienced some of what these people have gone through (domestic violence for instance). I can empathise with them and relate to some of their difficulties.”
What did you get out of it?
“It was a humbling experience, and reminded me how lucky I now have it. From a branding point of view I received a lot of interaction with the charities, and other charities too, on social media, which raised my profile and helped me gain followers from that area.”
What would your advice be for someone who would like to do something like this?
“Follow some charities on Twitter and look out for when they ask for help. Think about local at first, that way you haven’t got to pay out for travel expenses or spend time getting there and back, which is going to make it easier for you. Also be aware that there are some protocols involved. You may need training and background checks, especially if you are working with children or the vulnerable.”
Please check back often for more Step it Up interviews,
and get in touch if you would like to share your own story!