Baby People works with young people who have been removed from mainstream education for a variety of reasons. Our students work closely with hip-hop and street artists to realise their potential and to achieve qualifications. The young people that come to us often face a range a challenges including Special Education Needs, being in the care system, disabilities, or particular behavioural or emotional needs. Many of our students have not been brought up in an environment that encourages healthy living and they will often have a bad diet, smoke, have too many energy drinks and not exercise. Alongside their artistic experience with us, we want to create the opportunity for young people to learn how to improve their well-being and that of those around them. We want to do this through a ‘Grow, Cook, Run’ health and nutrition course that teaches young people how to grow and cook food, and how to exercise in a fun and effective way.
We are seeking funds to upgrade our kitchen and outdoor space so that it is suitable for growing fruit, vegetables, and herbs on a large enough scale for our students to prepare regular hot meals with them (supplemented with some locally grown bought ingredients). The studio we moved into in Winter 2015 has very limited facilities for cooking food with only a kettle, toaster, sink and small fridge. In order to provide a good learning environment, we would like to upgrade the kitchen to include a oven with a hob, fridge/freezer, and appropriate utensils and crockery.
The course will give young people the confidence and skills they need to pursue college courses or apprenticeships in horticulture, fitness and catering. As an organisation, we will support young people in identifying and pursuing whatever pathways they have in mind for education and employment.
Our vision is that in the long run our students can cook food for the other young people in the building, providing healthy food for young people who might otherwise not have a hot healthy meal that day and inspiring their peers to cook. Getting our students to cook for local families and older people will also create integenerational exchanges between ourselves and the Normanton community. The kitchen will also become a community resource, available for local people to hire at a low price to provide meals for their community groups, meetings and celebrations, as well as creating revenue to maintain the kitchen in the long run.