Hundreds tune in to watch Brummie chefs raise awareness for homelessness scheme

10 December 2020

A virtual Cook-A-Long show hosted by Michelin-starred TV chef, Glynn Purnell, saw people tune in to raise awareness of West Midlands homelessness scheme, Change into Action.

The Big Birmingham Cook-A-Long, which aired on 8th December, aimed to raise awareness of Change Into Action and saw a number of local chefs cooking up their favourite recipes for viewers at home to recreate. 

Guest appearances on the show included Councillor Sharon Thompson, cabinet member for Homes and Neighbourhoods at Birmingham City Council, as well as guests from Birmingham-based homelessness charities which have benefited from the help of Change Into Action.

Change into Action is a joint initiative, set up in 2017, by Birmingham City Council, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), and the Mayor of the West Midlands to tackle homelessness in the city.

The scheme works to change the circumstances of rough sleepers by calling on the expertise of existing services and charities in the area, offering help for rough sleepers on the streets, in day centres, and in housing. It operates across Birmingham, Coventry, Solihull and Walsall and ensures that rough sleepers are not ignored or forgotten, but are identified, known, and offered every form of help.

Councillor Sharon Thompson, Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods, said: “We’re delighted at how well the Cook-A-Long went – it’s so important to raise awareness of the help that’s currently out there for rough sleepers, and we really can turn change into action and achieve a lot with small amounts of money.

“It’s been a difficult year for everyone, and the pandemic has posed many challenges, but rough sleepers especially need help and support at this challenging time, particularly as the weather has got colder and we head into winter. But, Change into Action can make all the difference.

“Every donation they receive personally benefits a person sleeping rough and enables trusted local charities and street teams to identify those things that can really make a change to their personal circumstances and give them a better future.”

Glynn Purnell, Michelin-starred TV chef and host of The Big Birmingham Cook-A-Long, added: “It was a pleasure to be involved in the Cook-A-Long, virtually bringing people together around the country who have a shared passion for cooking, at the same time as raising awareness of such an important cause.

“There are so many brilliant charities out there which are dedicated to improving the lives of rough sleepers and this is why Change in Action works so well – it’s vital that we all work together to try and improve the lives of rough sleepers and provide them with a new direction and the stability they need.”

Anyone who didn’t have chance to tune in to The Big Birmingham Cook-A-Long can catch up online here.

Recipes for the Cook-A-Long and all the information you need to recreate them at home are also available here.

To find out more about Change into Action, or to donate to the scheme, visit