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Young carers taught cooking skills

Young Wiltshire carers were given the run of the kitchen to serve up tasty, healthy dishes earlier this week.

Published 11 November 2022
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Young Wiltshire carers were given the run of the kitchen to serve up tasty, healthy dishes earlier this week.

The young people aged from 17 to 25 attended Wiltshire College and used their kitchens to try out new culinary skills and hear how to create healthy dishes.

In situations where young people have caring responsibilities at home, they may have the responsibility to cook up the meal for their families.

Wiltshire Council's public health team invested in the cooking sessions with Phunky Foods, demonstrating some tasty dishes with tips and advice on how to best serve up a good healthy meal. Phunky Foods, is part of the commissioned community based programmes, which has seen the service support the council's health improvement programmes including the accessibility Healthy Us programmes, supporting adults with learning disabilities in Wiltshire.

Shannon said: My dad tried the food and said 'that was absolutely delicious you can cook that for me again.'

Joe said his sausage casserole was gratefully received by his grandma who has dementia and receives care.  He added some cheese and rice as the 'carb' element and cooked it again last night for dinner.

Another young carer Kat said her parents termed her new cooking skills as 'amazing'.

One of the young carers aged 17 said: I learnt a lot today especially what is a safe temperature for cooking meat

Another young carer added: 'With a slow cooker we will be able to cook using less energy and be able to save money. Thank you!

Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Children's Services said: We provide a range of support for our young carers as we know they step up and care for their families when parents are not able to do so. These young people take on adult responsibilities all the time which can include making meals for the family. We held this event to show them how they can cook healthy meals for themselves and, when needed, for their families as well as helping to save money in the cost of living crisis. This will support them to develop the skills to use in their own homes, including safe food preparation, preservation, cost cutting, as well as cooking methods. Some of these young people have been asked to attend by their care co-ordinator as cooking is part of their caring role. We provide support to all our carers and we hope to be rolling this out to more young carers in the future.

Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: Having the ability to cook simple healthy meals is a valuable life skill, even more so for young people who have extra responsibilities placed on their shoulders.

We're pleased to have provided these sessions and equipment and hopefully it's given the young people who took part that little bit of extra confidence and eased the pressure on them a little as they carry out their important role.

The public health team provided slow cookers for the six young people attending the event. The Weinstock Foundation also provided food vouchers for those participating.

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