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Men in Kitchens inspires new cooks

A scheme has been set up in Dawley to inspire older men to cook.

Men in Kitchens looks to get more men into the kitchen and cook fresh food for themselves. The programme which has been set up by The Wrekin Housing Trust and is supported by Telford & Wrekin Council's health and wellbeing team, aims to help prevent loneliness and isolation in older men while teaching them basic cooking skills so that they can prepare healthy and nutritious food.

The weekly classes held at Vicarage Grove in Dawley, one of the Trust's Retirement Living schemes, offer cookery tips and practical hands on experience in the kitchen. Volunteer chef John Thompson demonstrates a new recipe each week. The ten-week programme, which is now in its fifth week, has taught meals such as home cooked oven chips, omelettes and stews and at the end of each session attendees sit together to chat and enjoy their food.

Chef John Thompson who volunteers at the classes said, "I have over 30 years catering experience working in hotels, restaurants and with schools and colleges. I wanted to share my knowledge with men that may have little or no experience with cooking. By demonstrating how, with just a few ingredients, you can make a healthy nutritious meal it can help break a cycle of reliance on convenient foods."

Katrina Pooler, Retirement Living Events Co-Ordinator for The Wrekin Housing Trust said, "The aim of these sessions is to help men over 55 to feel more confident in the kitchen however the socialising side is also important. It's been great to see everyone enjoying the fruits of their labour and eating and chatting together."

Reg Price, 95 who has been attending the sessions, says; "I was looking for alternatives to my usual jacket potatoes and beans and my daughters thought that I should give this a go. I often rely on ready meals and so I'm looking forward to learning some new skills. I already feel inspired to try a few new things like the healthy chips when I get back home."

Councillor Arnold England, Cabinet Member for health and wellbeing said; "Men in Kitchens is such a great scheme supporting older men who find themselves in new situations. They may need to take control of cooking and nutrition for themselves or for a partner who needs their support or just need some company."

"We're delighted to have been involved with helping to set up the scheme. It provides a friendly welcoming environment for men in similar situations, helping them learn the skills for cooking and new recipes.

"Also, through sitting down at the end of the session and enjoying the meal, the scheme helps tackle isolation and loneliness giving the group a chance to talk."

The Men in Kitchens scheme is open to all Wrekin Retirement Living (and general needs) tenants, as well as members of the local community. Attendees are requested to make a £3 contribution each week to cover the cost of ingredients to be used in the sessions.

For more information contact Katrina Pooler on 01952 217027.

Men in Kitchens 1

Men in Kitchens 2

18th March 2019