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Free cooking course

PUBLISHED: 10:38 01 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:09 06 July 2010

PEOPLE in Great Yarmouth and Waveney who cannot cook or may even be wary of preparing food are being invited to take up the offer of a free cooking course in their area.

PEOPLE in Great Yarmouth and Waveney who cannot cook or may even be wary of preparing food are being invited to take up the offer of a free cooking course in their area.

Great Yarmouth Community Trust's Community Nutrition Team is offering the chance to “get back to basics in the kitchen” and learn some key recipes and advice about food.

The CHEW course, which stands for Cook Healthy, Eat Well, runs for five sessions across five separate weeks and can be offered for free in any community kitchen to teach people key cooking skills.

CHEW is funded by NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney (NHS GYW) so anyone attending the sessions can go for free.

Sarah Barnes, health improvement manager for NHS GYW, said: “CHEW is all about building confidence in the kitchen and relearning the basics around food and cooking using cheap, nutritious ingredients and easy recipes.”

Helen Johnston, community nutritionist from the Great Yarmouth Community Trust, said: “CHEW is about confidence and skills so people can take care of their children, save money on their food shopping, and try to overcome that lost feeling of it being 5pm and not having a clue what's for dinner. “This course is really at a grass routes level for those who aren't accessing other support with cooking.”

The sessions are run by “Community Cooks” who are volunteers newly trained for the CHEW experience. The Community Cooks are overseen by the community nutritionists who are able to offer more information about food groups, what is good to eat and why.

CHEW sessions involve making soup and pasta, working with mince, as well as making curries and casseroles. All the recipes are easy, healthy and cheap.

Becky Amies, community nutritionist from the Great Yarmouth Community Trust, said: “Every lesson we cook a meal together and then eat it together. It's not fancy cooking, it's good basic cooking that people can actually do in a short amount of time.

“A whole range of people have been on the course and we encourage anyone to sign up for a free place.

“We have had elderly men who have lost their wives and not very confident in the kitchen. We've had young parents who need to cook for their families and can learn all about making meals at the CHEW sessions. Anyone is welcome.”

The sessions run throughout the year and can be set up in a specific area if there is the demand.

Mrs Barnes added: “Sometimes it's very difficult to learn these kinds of skills from scratch.

“If you're preparing food you're probably not just making it for yourself so what great skills to pass onto your children once you've been on the course.”

To sign up or find out more call 01493 852200 or email nutrition@gyctrust.co.uk.

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