Robin and Cristèle, University of Reading students

In March 2021, after months of hard work, Alana House women’s community project launched their inspirational recipe book: Love, Trust, Hope – Cooking to build and strengthen a community. The book, which has been a fantastic success since its release with over 250 copies already sold, could not have been completed without the support of students Cristèle Sarić and Robin Smith, whose designs brought the recipes to life and perfectly captured the heart of the cookbook.

Robin and Cristèle volunteered their time to work on the recipe book as part of the University of Reading’s Real Jobs Scheme. The students shared their talents in graphic design, typography and print production with the Alana House team and worked on the project over many months, thinking up imaginative ideas for the style of the book, designing the cover, creating illustrations, formatting the layout, editing the content and printing the final product.

With the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the last few years have been challenging for all of us, but even more so for those who face vulnerability, are isolated, and with little access to support such as the women who attend Alana House. The recipe book was created to bring this community of people together over a shared love of food and creativity. It contains contributions of recipes, poetry, photography and creative pieces from the women who use Alana House’s services, as well as from staff, volunteers and friends. The book is a reflection of the diversity and creativity of the Alana House community and captures the women’s passion, hope and vision for a better future for themselves.

Cristèle and Robin said: “It was a pleasure working with the women at Alana House and the PACT charity. We’ve learned so much from working as a team and all of us collaborating to create something meaningful. We hope the impact of the book is something that the service users and all those who contributed are proud of!”

Thanks to the hard work of Cristèle and Robin, we are delighted with the amazing book that we have produced together. The proceeds from the sale of this book will be used to continue the important work at Alana House supporting women in need. You can order a copy for yourself or as a gift for someone special in our shop.

Thank you Robin and Cristèle: you are PACT superstars!

To find out more about volunteering and sharing your time and talents with PACT, visit our volunteering page.