Learn to be a community cook and support others in the community to access healthy, affordable and tasty food.
At Healthy Living Platform, we believe that food should be at the heart of our communities. But all over the country, many kitchens in community halls, children’s centres and even schools are sitting relatively un-used.
One of the reasons for this is because willing volunteers do not necessarily have the relevant health and safety certification, or are not trusted by centre managers to cook for a wider community, which may include clinically vulnerable people.
We think this is such a wasted opportunity to promote healthy eating in communities that need support. Our Food Ambassador programme, which has been running for four years now, addresses the issue.
Healthy Living Platform has so far trained around 40 people to become ‘Food Ambassadors’ and we want to recruit more. Our programme runs over three weekly sessions, is FREE for Lambeth residents, and includes:
- Health and safety including Level 2 Food Safety certification
- How to cook delicious community meals in a healthy, affordable and sustainable way
- Confidence building so that participants can lead cooking sessions with us or also set up their own project.
As part of our programme all our Food Ambassadors are asked to volunteer in community centres for a period of six months to gain experience before starting their own projects. Some of them have stepped up in their own community settings and are leading the cooking. We are able to pay Food Ambassadors to run activities where we have funding, while some of our Food Ambassadors have gained enough confidence in their cooking to go out and get paid work for themselves.
We appreciate that food is a complex issue and find that focusing on vegetarian and vegan cooking is the easiest way to include everyone and stay on track with the message that food should be healthy, nutritious and environmentally sustainable. It also shows budding cooks that creating delicious dishes does not have to be expensive.
Become a Food Ambassador! Learn new skills, gain a qualification and make new friends in a supportive environment.
Here is what some of the participants have said after completing the programme:
‘I loved the sessions and how it was delivered was great – very informative and fun working with like-minded people making a change through healthy eating’.
‘A well prepared and informative course, with friendly people. The nutritionist was brilliant’.
‘An informative programme led in a friendly, relaxed environment, encompassing the healthy sustainable ethos of healthy living platform’.
‘I have taken away different insights from other cultures/backgrounds. I have found it helpful to receive tips on how to reduce sugar and salt. I am now more interested to learn how to cook veggie and vegan meals’.