We’ve recently finished a cooking course with a group of men from the Fresh Start 4U project. The Fresh Start 4U project works alongside the Probation Service and the Community Rehabilitation Company, its aim is to support adult offenders and in particular those with shorter custodial sentences and community orders in moving away from offending and into paid employment or volunteering.
Over twelve weeks, we spent time each session teaching the guys to cook and also to budget, shop and store food safely. Some of the men had spent time in institutional surroundings and have never had the opportunity to learn to cook. The course at MOF was an opportunity for the participants to get to know each other better, whilst learning key life skills in a safe and friendly environment.
During a feedback session, the guys offered the following comments about their time in the food centre.
“Excellent! Learned different skills.”
“Makes me feel worthwhile not just left on the scrapheap.”
“Meeting other people who are in the same boat, keeps me motivated.”
“It’s like a team building thing cos we are working together”
“Got to know some basics I didn’t know before. Has made me more confident. “
I’ve stored and filed the recipes. Learned how to make things I didn’t know how to make.“
“ I have learnt new things such as chopping and cooking healthier food. I feel 20-30% better in myself and enjoying making food from scratch.”
We’re pleased to report that one of the men who took part in the course has now secured a voluntary position in a local Bradford café, where he can learn more skills and acquire the food hygiene certificates that are a first step to a job in the catering industry.