Cooking Good is a healthy eating project led by Health-Works. There are a number of partnerships involved with Cooking Good, including, originally, Northamptonshire Health and Wellbeing Board, Home Start (Daventry and South Northants), snvb, Sofea, Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust and Grand Union Homes. More recently Cooking Good has been working with food aid alliances and individual food aid organisations and community groups in West and North Northants, Northampton Partnership Homes, Right Resolution, various Leisure Centres, schools in deprived areas, NACRE and growing and sustainable food alliances. Together we are funded by Public Health England and other local grants to deliver food education, healthy eating, weight management, lifestyle change programmes and home cooking experiences to families and different groups, including housing association clients, those about to be released from prison, young people leaving care, those experiencing mental health issues and more.
The original project aim was to help families cook straight-forward family meals by providing teaching sessions in small groups in accessible venues or in families’ own homes. However, given the Coronavirus crisis we quicky adapted and found alternative ways to reach the families and target groups with ideas and tools to help them cook more nutritious meals on a limited budget. By creating useful cooking videos and online easy-to-cook recipes, and offering meals in a bag with recipe cards via various agencies providing vulnerable people in the community with food during the pandemic, we have been able to expand our reach and develop new services to further our aim to reduce health inequalities and support people to sustain their own wellbeing.
More recently the programmes developed include delivering trainer training to weight management peer support groups and Holiday Activity Fund providers for the food element of the HAF for NSport. This is about capacity building, developing resources and support for these providers so that they can offer the necessary food eduction, including an element of growing and food sustainablity, to their client groups.
Cooking Good are working effectively with several community partners via the healthy eating focused Tier 2 Weight Management Train the Trainer programme, including BAME groups and those working with people with Learning Difficulties and brain injuries. Social prescribing are colleagues are involved in this programme. Specific focus groups for BAME and LD groups have been set up to further support these healthy eating and growing with these groups. We are also currently working on a wellbeing offer to HMP Five Wells prisoners.