The Cookalong project is run out of the Seasalter Christian Centre in the school holidays. It enrols participant households/families for 12 months starting at the beginning of the summer school holidays. It has a dual purpose, to offer the opportunity for participants to learn to cook cheap and nutritious family meals and to provide all the ingredients for 2 two course meals per week for all members of the participating household.
We use a mix of teaching styles – you tube videos to cook along with, recipe sheets, and some face to face sessions (eg making Christmas cakes). All participants meet together with each other and the activity coordinators once a week to collect that week’s recipes and ingredients. This also provides the opportunity for contact and conversation and a cup of coffee, for a discussion on how the previous week of cooking went and to clarify any points for the upcoming week of recipes. We aim to build friendship and support as we progress through the year and hope participants will finish the course equipped to go on cooking balances and nutritious, cheap meals for their household.
The criteria for participation is that the household must be in the parish of Seasalter and (i) either have children of school age in receipt of free school meals or be of retirement age and in receipt of pension credit. Participants must also be able to collect their ingredients from Seasalter Christian Centre each week. We would be willing to hold a list of people living just outside the geographical boundary or those with other special circumstances who could be offered a place should we not fill the course with those who meet the criteria.
Participation is free for those households meeting the criteria of the scheme, however it would be possible for non-qualifying households to participate in the programme but they would need to purchase their own ingredients or pay for them on collection if they were souced via the scheme.