Angela Catley, Community Catalysts CIC originally posted in February 2015
This is one of a series of case studies provided by Community Catalysts on the role that small, local community organisations and enterprises can play in the health and wellbeing of their local communities. Read more about how such organisations make a difference and explore the case studies for Whole Body Therapy and Funky, Fitness and Fun.
Shirley Southworth launched Food Positive in October 2011 to give people the skills and knowledge to improve their life by providing food based training for all.
At the modern cookery school in Ince, Wigan, people are supported to choose, prepare and cook nutritious meals, whilst learning independent living skills along the way. At the end of each session the group sit down to eat a meal together and are encouraged to socialise and talk about nutrition and healthy living. Shirley has identified that often the carer’s own skills can limit the diets and lifestyles of their loved ones. She hopes to influence both customers and their carers to build their confidence and skills to make healthy meals and make positive lifestyle choices.
People with a personal budget can access Food Positive and one lady is learning independent cooking skills in this small group with consistent staff. Her confidence and skills improve with each session and she is looking ahead to independent living. Her social worker hopes the lady’s need for other services will be reduced once she is independent and has a routine in relation to preparing healthy meals.
“I love it. It has helped me quite a lot, I can cook jacket potatoes now and I want to learn to cook corned beef hash. I would recommend it.”
Shirley is intending to run a cookery training school which involves women on probation and an outreach project for people who have been newly diagnosed with a health related condition such as diabetes, teaching them how to manage their condition using food.
Food Positive was initially funded by the Big Lottery. As well as offering specific courses funded by grants, such as Family Cooking on a Budget, Shirley has begun to think creatively about ways in which her social enterprise will become self–sustaining