Cooking Up Fun with Cook, Eat, Repeat!

Imagine five summer afternoons filled with family cooking sessions that are not only educational but also affordable and delicious. That’s precisely what we offered through the Cook, Eat, Repeat programme of workshops, generously funded by Community Gateway, Preston City Council’s Household Support Fund and Beanstalk Business Centre CIC.

Let’s dive into this flavourful journey of good food, happy families, and unforgettable moments!

Cooking with Purpose The Cook, Eat, Repeat programme was a fantastic success! Over five weeks, families gathered at The Hub at Grange Gardens to embark on a culinary adventure. The goal was simple: teach hands-on cooking techniques using budget-friendly ingredients. We wanted to promote healthy food choices, budgeting, waste reduction, social interaction, and family bonding through cooking.

Ingredients of Success

  • Attendees: A total of 17 budding chefs attended the sessions, with an average of nine attendees at each. These sessions offered an opportunity for them to learn new cooking skills, experiment with ingredients, and broaden their culinary horizons.
  • Positive Feedback: The sessions received enthusiastic feedback. All attendees expressed their willingness to recommend the workshops to others, indicating their satisfaction.
  • Healthier and Happier: The parents of attendees reported feeling healthier and happier as a result of the cooking sessions.

What Worked Well The workshops were designed to be fun and interactive. They provided a friendly, pressure-free environment where families felt comfortable. The sessions were in high demand, with fully booked classes and even a waiting list. Everyone enjoyed not only cooking but also spending quality time together as a family.

Areas for Improvement While the project was mostly smooth sailing, there were some minor issues. A few no-shows occurred, but we managed to address this by contacting those on the waiting list. Attendees suggested that a larger space would be beneficial, and we took this into account by slightly reducing the number of attendees. Additionally, we had to adjust our budget to cover unforeseen costs related to ingredient preparation, shopping, and administrative tasks.

Delicious Outcomes Now, let’s savour the project’s outcomes:

  • Health and Wellbeing: Families reported feeling healthier and happier after the sessions, with all rating their experience a 4 or 5 out of 5. They also learned about making healthier food choices.
  • Financial Security: Attendees found the cooking sessions helpful in saving money on groceries and planning affordable meals.
  • Skills Development: Attendees gained confidence in cooking and acquired new culinary techniques.
  • Family Wellbeing: Families cherished the quality time they spent cooking together, strengthening their bonds.
  • Community Engagement: The cooking sessions encouraged community interaction and connection among families.
  • Food Waste Reduction: Some families learned about reducing food waste and using leftovers wisely.
  • Reducing Holiday Hunger: Families learned to prepare and dine on nutritious meals during the summer break.

Three Words of Flavour We asked attendees to describe their Cook, Eat, Repeat experience in three words, and they shared some tasty descriptions: fun, exciting, yummy, and more.

Community Gateway Alignment This project aligned perfectly with Community Gateway’s priorities:

  • Supporting Tenancy Sustainment: Families learned to make economical choices, enhancing their financial resilience and tenancy sustainment.
  • Reducing Anti-Social Behaviour: Strengthened family bonds and positive relationships can potentially reduce anti-social behaviour in the long term.
  • Reducing Social Isolation in Older People: Although the project primarily focused on families with younger children, it indirectly helps reduce social isolation among older family members.

Measuring Success Our success was not just anecdotal. We collected feedback through surveys and informal conversations, tracked improvements in cooking skills and knowledge, monitored attendance, and received positive feedback from our partners at The Hub at Grange Gardens.

In conclusion, the Cook, Eat, Repeat programme of workshops was a delightful foodie journey that promoted social value, family togetherness, and lasting memories. It left a legacy of delicious experiences and sustainable food practices that will continue to benefit our community for years to come.