We wanted to encourage community cohesion in a way that would be enjoyable. We felt that by hosting cooking classes we would also be able to teach people new skills and promote the benefits of healthy eating.
What we did
The Community Involvement Team held weekly cooking classes for six weeks at the Renishaw Methodist Church on Circular Drive, Renishaw.
The sessions were completely free and open to all, with ingredients and teaching provided by our Community Involvement Team.
Bringing the Community Together
At the final session we invited Bali from our Contact Centre to come along and provide an onion bhaji master class.
Jessica Popplewell – Community Involvement Officer, said “The onion bhajis were absolutely delicious and the feedback from the group was fantastic. At first the group were a little apprehensive about trying spicy food, but at the session everyone not only tried them, but really enjoyed them!
“We have people in their 80’s trying spicy food for the first time, and also trying things like pizza and tortilla wraps. It’s been really great to bring the community together and give people the opportunity to try new and healthy food.”
Encouraging Healthy Eating
Over the course of the sessions the group have become more confident in their cooking skills and have learnt lots of recipes, they have made things like; Chicken and Vegetable Pasta, Pizza and Salad, Cinnamon Apple Crumble, healthy burgers with coleslaw and dips, among others.
One participant said “I really enjoyed the sessions, I liked meeting different people and it was great that the younger and older people mixed, normally everything I do is with people of my age.”
Another said, “Since starting the classes I have been out and bought more fresh food and encouraged healthy eating to my kids.
“Considering the amount of food we cooked and people we fed the cost of the ingredients was really cheap. The last session was really good because everyone was confident and relaxed and there were a variety of different foods being made.
“These sessions have really helped with my depression, meeting new people and doing something I really love to do. Giving me a boost when cooking for my kids at home. Thank you.”
Due to the success of the sessions and the amount of interest we have agreed to host a monthly class on the first Monday of each month.
If you would like to get involved please contact the Community Involvement Team on 01246 217670.