In Funding Stories, Life skills, education & employability

 Project: Cookery Courses

Bahlsen Community Fund: £3,420

One Can Trust is a food bank serving people in crisis in High Wycombe, Marlow and across South Buckinghamshire. With the ongoing effects of the cost of living being felt by more and more people, One Can Trust saw a sharp increase in referrals. Many of their clients were struggling financially to cook healthy family meals due to rising gas and electric bills.

With funding from the Bahlsen Community Fund, One Can Trust have been able to produce two six week Cookery Courses. Delivered by a trained chef and supported by a group of volunteers, they helped clients with budget friendly cooking tips and recipes. Each course focused on cooking from scratch, simple cookery skills, budgeting, and how to make the most of their food parcel. Clients were also taught how to bake bread and other more technical recipes, alongside health and safety in the kitchen, knife skills, batch cooking, fridge foraging, one pot dinners, freezer meals and more. All the recipes taught were based on food provided in a One Can Trust food parcel, this meant that the ingredients were healthy, affordable and accessible. Clients who attended every session of the course received a certificate and a free cookery kit, with recipes and kitchen equipment included.

Many of the groups clients experience disruptive or chaotic lives as well as poverty and crisis. These courses not only enabled them to gain knowledge and skills in the kitchen, but also gave them a chance to create lasting relationships with each other, reducing social isolation. This all contributed to their overall health and wellbeing, as well as empowering them to improve their financial situation with their new skills and budget hacks.


Case study

Amanda (not her real name) attended the cookery course as she had to relocate to the area after fleeing from a violent relationship. She has 3 young children and didn’t know anyone in the area. She wanted to attend to not only learn how to cook some family recipes but also try and make some friendships in her local community. This is what Amanda had to say:

“I love routine, since arriving in High Wycombe I haven’t been able to structure my life as well as I would have liked, getting the kids sorted in schools and finding our feet has been priority but as things are now straightening out I wanted to focus a bit more on me, I used to love cooking but for many reasons that was a thing of the past. By attending the course I regained my confidence in cooking and have learnt so many recipes and tricks that I will now use daily and knowing that my family will have full tummies full of homemade and healthy freezer meals is life changing.”

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