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Previous Grants

Watford Grant

Emerging Futures - who support substance abuse  - I provided nutriton training

Watford Community Housing - I supported their residents in three of thier schemes running meet and eat groups

Carers in Herts cooking group

Three Rivers Grant
I worked with a few different groups:
The family centre in South Oxhey
The day centre in South Oxhey,looking at food and how to help the clinets become healthier
A weight management course looking at habits and behaviours wokring with the local social prescribers
Running cooking course in the local schools
Running meet and eat groups

Hertfordshire Community Foundation Grant
I worked with Squirrels Nursery Group and ran a project that we called 'Cook in a box'
The children learned to cook at nursery as did the nursery staff and a box was sent home to be cooked with parent and child - it was a fantastic success!
To read more about it,please follow the link - it was written up as a case study

I ran courses for carers in Herts which was great 
Started working with Social Prescribers in Hoddesdon running Meet and eat groups that is still running still !
I loved working with Homestart and ran courses supporting both volunteers and parents


working with one housing

I ran an online zoom cooking/nutrition course with One Housing in Camden, we made some really yummy dishes and we all had a fun time.  Recipes and tips were learned and shared and stories were told

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working with carers in herts

Carers in Hertfordshire logo & strapline
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I ran a series of cooking zoom workshops and webinars ( including e-learning) 

In our webinars we covered diabetes and gluten-free cooking, these provoked some greater discussions!

Being a carer (someone who provides unpaid care to children, an elderly, sick, or disabled relative or friend) is one of the hardest but most rewarding jobs. It’s not a career choice but something that lands at your door. 

Since the outbreak of Covid, the numbers of carers have increased by 4.5 million - an increase of around 50% (the numbers are based on the 2011 census). The total number of unpaid carers in the UK is 13.6 million - 1 in 4 adults. Many juggle their caring responsibilities with paid work.

Cooking meals for loved ones can be a challenge for all sorts of reasons.  Making them healthy and nutritionally balanced is difficult, made harder because of time restrictions and budget constraints.

In some cases carers have to deal with food intolerances such as gluten or eggs. There may be medical conditions such as coeliac disease, diabetes or Crohns that make food preparation difficult.

Prior to the pandemic I worked with Carers in Herts running workshops. When Covid struck I was determined to keep running courses as I knew many carers would be self-isolating. They would need not only support with food but social interaction and some light relief. I was fortunate to win a grant to make this happen.

At the beginning of the course I carried out a brief survey to assess whether participants enjoyed cooking, how confident they were, and what knowledge they had about how to cook nutritious meals.

For the most part, carers were not confident in providing nutritious meals. They often used jars and packets due to time constraints. Nutrition was sacrificed for convenience. 

The course was run on Zoom, for an hour twice a month. I cooked a dish with the carers watching and asking questions. As the course progressed some of the participants would cook along which added to the fun. There was demand for some additional evening sessions focused on specific topics such as gluten-free baking and diabetes.

There was great attendance with around 20 people for each session - a mixture of men and women.  Some participants attended every session, others dropped in and out, and we often had new people in each session. As far as I was aware, no one knew each other before the course so new friendships were made. All the attendees shared ideas and thoughts.

A feedback survey at the conclusion came up with some interesting findings:

  • 68% were more confident to cook and their knowledge and skills had increased.

  • 65% said that it had enabled them to find an interest outside caring  

  • 52% felt the course had helped them be listened to.


Some of the comments: from the carers themselves

It's helped them feel less isolated by sharing the challenges of cooking for someone who is disabled or can't/won't eat certain ingredients. They've enjoyed chatting to others about something that is  unrelated to caring and have appreciated the flexibility of attending over Zoom.

 One participant said “Sarah’s cooking has been great fun and I have enjoyed sitting back watching. Loads of handy tips from the group means I now have a cupboard with spices and herbs and found I like quinoa and buckwheat for healthier eating."

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