Our impact The difference we make COOKERY CLUB As part of The Plate Project, clients have been able to participate in cooking classes in a weekly Cookery Club. Each week, we focused on creating affordable, nutritious, tasty meals from the basics in the store cupboard and leftovers in the fridge. Clients joining the cookery class were able to: Socialise with kitchen staff, volunteers and each other Develop new friendships Talk about the food and culture of their country of origin Share cooking skills, techniques and experience Learn about kitchen hygiene and safety Understand the importance of nutritional and healthy eating Experiment with using new ingredients to create tastes of home Every client was offered a Cookery Club folder with information on a number of topics: Store Cupboard: list of essentials and making these your best friends in the kitchen Leftovers: re-framing leftovers as ingredients for meals Fridges: Storing uncooked and cooked food safely Freezers: using freezers effectively Oasis Recipes: instructions on how to make the meals cooked in each class The Cookery Club folder also had space for clients to make notes on: My Store Cupboard: listing essentials from their home country Childhood Favourites: family recipes and memories of celebration meals Some of the classes were led by clients, some of these included a cooking demonstration of a three-course Honduran meal as well as a class on how to make Sudanese meatballs. This was a great opportunity for clients to showcase favourite dishes from their home countries and to teach fellow clients new recipes. At the end of each class, we sat together, shared a communal meal and clients offered suggestions for future classes. The meals were also served to other clients at the centre for an evening meal. As the Cookery Clubs progressed, it has been great to see friendships blossom and kitchen skills develop. It has been particularly rewarding to see engagement from clients who have previously not participated in the centre’s other activities Clients’ feedback: “I loved having the opportunity to cook, try new foods and learn how to cook leftovers.” “I was looking for a cooking lesson and then you asked me to join in. This made me so happy, I will definitely be back.” “It was great to learn new skills and meet new people.” “I would like to learn how to cook traditional food from my country and share it with other people. I hope these cooking lessons can help me to do that.” We’re really looking forward to getting the cookery club back up and running soon. Hopefully, we’ll be able to open the club to the public in the future!