Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

Cooking up a storm

Our News in Brief

Cooking up a storm

27th January 2020
Our weekly cooking classes at Caritas Anchor House have been a scrumptious success!

We are so pleased to be able to offer our residents the opportunity to build on their cooking skills, and each week see consistent, high attendance and culinary delights aplenty.

The classes help equip our resident group with essential skills for independent living, and they are also a wonderful social opportunity for those that have felt isolated or disconnected. It has helped residents to build their network and their confidence to build positive relationships.

Naomi Mullings, Community Development Officer at Caritas Anchor House, led this collaboration with Food Academy. Reflecting on the classes so far, Naomi said, “Through the cooking classes, residents are recognising the importance of taking time to focus on their wellbeing, and build on their life skills to live independently.”

This sentiment lies at the heart of all that we do at Caritas Anchor House. Our holistic programme for personal development targets many areas of our residents lives, including health and wellbeing, recreational and therapeutic activities, maintaining relationships, financial management, education, volunteering, training, back-to-work preparation and support to achieve independent living.

Our resident’s feedback on the cooking classes has been extremely positive, and they are delighted to have learnt some new skills in the kitchen to prepare healthy, tasty meals that are purse-friendly.

This success is due in no small part to the amazing support from the Food Academy, whose expert chefs facilitated ‘train-the-trainer’ sessions with six members of staff here at Caritas Anchor House. The goal at the heart of this initiative is upskilling our staff who will then pass on their cooking knowledge to our resident group. Also, we've been delighted to have Rasheda from the Food Academy supporting the sessions each week; her guidance has been a real support to those attending and a great sounding board for our lesson plans.

Sandeep Chana, Director of Food Academy, said, “My favourite parts of running the train-the-trainer classes is seeing everyone’s reaction to their creation, and getting them excited for next week’s dish!”

It is evident that this collaboration with Food Academy is a recipe for success! Not only does it open up the conversation on a very essential part of independent living, it also provides opportunities to discuss other important topics such as health and wellbeing. Key takeaways have been managing on a budget, making healthy choices and building relationships. We plan to continue to build on this momentum and hope our residents will soon be passing along their knowledge to others too.

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