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Free cook and eat sessions in Keyworth receives vital Reach Rushcliffe funding

Last updated: 3/8/2023

A community project delivering a series of free cook and eat sessions in Keyworth has received a boost thanks to Reach Rushcliffe funding, helping to tackle food insecurity and inclusivity and widen adults and children’s skills of easy and affordable ways to cook.

Keyvolution from Keyworth Abundance is running 12 cook and eat sessions led by professional cooks to help increase people’s confidence cooking seasonal fresh food and improve their skills in a relaxed and friendly setting, designed to help improve diets and reduce food waste.

Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Reach Rushcliffe fund has provided a grant of £1,800 to support the project that will further reduce social isolation and loneliness bringing people together in dedicated kids and adult sessions.

It includes teaching the groups basic techniques to make a cooked home meal from fresh ingredients with locally grown vegetables. 

The funding has helped to contribute to venue costs including water and electricity use, cooking ingredients, cookware, expert cooks and marketing of the events.

Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transformation, Leisure and Wellbeing Cllr Jonathan Wheeler said: “Through our Reach Rushcliffe fund we’ve supported this fantastic project which aims to help people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities learn more how to cook.

“It’s an excellent way to teach these vital skills no matter people’s age or background and address loneliness and social isolation at the same time by bringing people together to cook delicious recipes from scratch in an inclusive and friendly environment.

“Thank you to Tracey and all the volunteers at Keyvolution for all their hard work and dedication to deliver these cooking classes for families and young people.”

Further sessions are set to take place at Keyworth Exchanging Rooms on Rectory Field in the village later this year:

  • Cook Fresh for adults takes place on Tuesday August 29 from 5.30pm to 7.30pm with professional chef Sam from Dosa Love. To book, text the words ‘Cook Fresh adults Aug’ to 07816 899978.

  • Cook Fresh for families takes place on Thursday November 2 from 11am to 1pm. To book, text the words ‘Family Cook Nov’ to 07816 899978.

  • Cook Fresh Teens for secondary school pupils and young adults takes place on Thursday November 2 from 3pm to 5pm. To book, text the words ‘3pm Cook Nov’ to 07816 899978.

Keyworth Community Garden organiser Amanda Ramsay will be delivering the classes and teaching further groups the skills.

The community garden has also been supported by the initiative to help locals combat loneliness and social isolation by connecting people through nature and conservation work.

Chair of Keyvolution Tracey Lloyd added: “We exist to help people make the best use of resources and we’re delighted to host a series of cook and eat sessions for both families and young people focused on using fresh fruit and veg.

“We believe that helping parents to have the confidence to cook with their younger children is a good way to encourage preparation of healthy food, and especially helpful to young parents who might be feeling isolated at home.

“It’s also important to help young people to develop cooking skills to help them gain enough skills to be able to cook for themselves, especially when they leave home.

“Anyone is welcome to join our free cook and eat sessions! Booking is essential so I encourage you to secure your place on our upcoming classes.

“Thank you to Rushcliffe Borough Council for helping to fund the cooking sessions and I’d also like to thank all the volunteers involved in running this important project.”

Any organisations also looking to reduce social isolation in their part of Rushcliffe can apply for funding through Reach Rushcliffe.