Funding Success Stories (Kensington & Chelsea): Magic Cooking

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Innovation Fund Feedback from our friends at People, Potential, Possibilities T/A (P3)

P3 was awarded the Innovation Fund to deliver to pilot a 6 week cooking project working with a group of Mums who have been identified by Social Services because they are at risk and some of whom are refugees with no social networks or support.

The Magic Cooking project involved 8 women attending a cooking course, facilitated by a professional chef for 6 weeks between November and December 2019. P3 provided child care throughout these sessions as this was the main barrier for Mums attending their programmes.

All of the women attending the course are part of our Magic Mums programme and have been referred a range of agencies such as social services, victim support and Home start. The women vulnerable adults and suffered from a range of issues including social isolation and trauma. P3 said that the project was therefore vital to improving their life skills and confidence, whilst also building a social network for them.

Each session started with a well-being exercise, which included breathing techniques and physical exercises.

The cooking was delivered with the women working in pairs and learning to cook at least four different dishes each session. For example, using one chicken, they cooked four different recipes.

The session ended with everyone sitting down together to eat what they had cooked, and the chef would cost it for them, so they learnt that you can cook decent, healthy meals on a budget. The chef also talked about the nutritional value of each recipe and where they could buy the ingredients locally.

P3 stated that all the participants learnt a great deal and really enjoyed the course. They were all provided with laminated copies of all of the recipes to put in a booklet. One of the unexpected outcomes for P3 from this project was the ‘social’ aspects in that the Mums set up a WhatsApp group of their own and would contact each other in the evenings to describe what they were cooking and support each other. Equally, what worked particularly well was them all eating a meal together afterwards of the food they had prepared.

P3 said that a total of 8 women were reached initially which was full capacity for this programme. Of the 8 women, 5 of them attended every session and the other 3 attended some but not all of the sessions. This is not unexpected with this client group, although we did provide child care to help address the principle barrier.

P3 fed back “This project was a great success for us and we are now looking for funding to make this part of our mainstream programme of support for families. Our intention is to set up 3 sessions per annum with either 6 mums at each session or 2 four week courses for women delivered 3 times per annum”.

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