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Interactive cooking workshop championed by local community centre

10 months ago

Interactive cooking workshop championed by local community centre
Credit: Hutte Neighbourhood Centre

New Hutte Neighbourhood Centre in Halewood, delivered an interactive cooking workshop and activity day for local families, in partnership with local school caterer, Chartwells.

The day, which was attended by Leader of Knowsley Council; Councillor Graham Morgan, saw over 70 children and their families attend the event to enjoy a selection of activities including a cooking workshop which aimed to highlight the importance of eating healthy, nutritious meals, while also providing families in the local community with information about how to cook affordable, nutritious food in the holidays.

The initiative was supported by charity Feeding Britain, and formed part of the Government’s Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF), which aims to support families with activities and food during the school holidays.

The session saw Chartwells’ team of chefs, demonstrate a range of different dishes that could be made using ingredients from the New Hutte Neighbourhood Centre’s social supermarket, which provides a range of significantly discounted ingredients for the community to purchase. On the menu were meals such as, Baked Bean Meatballs in Tomato Sauce (using tinned ingredients and baked beans), Flapjacks (using porridge sachets), and Veggie Stir Fry (using noodles and sauces).

In addition, Chartwells’ team also showed families how to make a few dishes that are available on local school menus in Merseyside, including Chicken Katsu Curry and Mac & Cheese, which was enjoyed by everyone in attendance.   

Led by Chartwells nutritionist Georgi Avery, children were able to get creative by making fruit kebabs with a yoghurt dipping sauce. Using plastic forks to cut up watermelon, strawberries, and pears, they were able to learn valuable chopping skills and hear about the importance of healthy and nutritional snacks.

At the end of the day, and to ensure families were then able to take home what they had learnt from the day, everyone was provided with a shopping bag, which they were able to fill with ingredients from the centre’s social supermarket, as well as fruit and vegetables provided by Chartwells. Any leftover food from Chartwells was donated back to New Hutte Neighbourhood Centre’s social supermarket.

Georgi Avery, Senior Nutritionist, Chartwells said:

“We understand how challenging it can be for families, especially in the current climate, to ensure young people get the food they need to fuel their bodies during the school holidays. We’re thrilled to be able to provide fun, experiential learning activities to the local communities in which we serve, as we continue in our mission to reach more and more young people both during and outside of term time to educate them on the importance of eating healthy and nutritious meals. The children loved cutting up different types of fruit to create their kebabs and it was great to see them so engaged in learning about the importance of healthy food.

“However, our education doesn’t just stop with children. Engaging other stakeholders, such as parents, is key to encouraging healthier eating in young people. We know that a lot of parents struggle to get their children to eat healthily or are unsure how to make a nutritious plate of food. By equipping them with the right knowledge and a range of delicious recipes they can prepare at home, parents can create dishes for their family, with the confidence that their children are getting the healthy, balanced diet they need both at school and at home.”

Gary See, Chief Operating Officer, New Hutte Neighbourhood Centre, commented:

“The holidays can put a huge amount of pressure on families in our local area for many reasons. This is why we run a programme of activities to benefit children and young people in the community, providing them with safe spaces outside of term time as well as healthy and nutritious meals. Working with Chartwells to organise this workshop was fantastic and it was great to see so many families attend and engage. The donations that we receive at the social supermarket are quite varied and it can be difficult for families to see how the ingredients can be turned into a healthy, affordable meal. However, having Chartwells chefs show families how they can be used in creative ways to make nutritious and tasty dishes at home has been a great help.

“Chartwells and New Hutte Neighbourhood Centre share the same principles and determination to bring people together through food, as well as support the communities in which we work in through education and delivering great-tasting, healthy, affordable meals. We look forward to continuing to work with Chartwells to deliver more workshops for the local community.”

Find out more about the cooking workshop here.

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