Cook and Eat Well, Coventry
Cook and Eat well in Coventry helps to improve the healthy eating habits of people living in some of the city’s most deprived areas with the poorest levels of health and wellbeing. This is done through series of free healthy cooking courses which centre around developing people’s cooking skills, understanding of healthy eating and confidence in cooking a meal from scratch on a budget.
The team have been running nine-week cooking courses since April 2015 - manager Jo Elward, admin Julia Spencer and co-ordinators Liz Taylor and Kirsty Hill, with Luke Cleaver joining as an officer in November.
“Our roles involve a mixture of different tasks ranging from shopping for ingredients to use, preparing resources for the sessions, various promotions, admin tasks like risk assessments and of course the delivery of sessions”, Liz said.
So far just under 1,500 people have completed 179 sessions totalling 3,250 hours delivery time.
“I love working with people and find it really rewarding” Liz added. “We’ve had people join or be referred to us from their GP who were drinking 2 litres of Coke a day for example, or solely living off Pot Noodles from the corner shop because they were cheap and easy. Even after hundreds of sessions, I still feel a sense of excitement when somebody tells you about an improvement in their eating habits - be that making their first meal from scratch, starting to cook with their kids or them now checking food labels in the supermarket for levels of salt and sugar.”
82% of people who have completed the project now eat more of their recommended 5 a day fruit and veg.
“I think the success of the Cook and Eat Well project comes down to responding to the needs of local people and the communities of Coventry - teaching quick, simple and affordable cooking for busy people. This project also has a social aspect, helping people improve their confidence and social inclusion skills. I love sitting down with participants at the end of the session to eat what we’ve cooked- it’s a real privilege as a lot of people don’t have time so sit down and eat with their own families.”
“It can be challenging at times dealing with people with different personalities and abilities in a busy delivery environment, but I’ve found by pairing them together they actually work well as a team supporting each other with their individual strengths and weaknesses.”
For more information on our Cook and Eat Well project visit www.cookandeatwell.co.uk or call 0800 4640699.