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Kitchen Confident: Members Shine in Cookery and Life Skills Course

The talents and abilities of our members with learning disabilities shine through in our Cookery and Life Skills Course, highlighting the importance of inclusive opportunities.

This month we celebrated the graduation of a group of our Stroud members, adults with learning disabilities who completed our Cookery and Life Skills Level 1 and 2 course. The 12 week program was designed to teach cooking techniques and essential life skills and encourage confidence and independence in the kitchen, which will benefit our members long after the course ends.

The course is ASDAN credited, which is a nationally approved qualification based around the development of personal, social and employability skills. ASDAN is an education charity and award organisation providing courses, accredited curriculum programmes and regulated qualifications. They help young people progress to further education, training or work and their courses empower people to take control of their lives.

Each step of the course recognises the importance of empowering individuals with learning disabilities to develop their culinary and life skills. It is designed to be flexible and adaptable, accommodating the diverse needs and abilities of each participant.

Throughout the 12-week course, members learned a range of cooking techniques, from basic meal preparation to more advanced recipes. They were taught how to read recipes, measure ingredients, and follow instructions, all while developing important life skills such as time management, problem-solving, and decision making.

More than a cookery course

Beyond the cooking itself, the course focused on building confidence and self-esteem. Support Workers encouraged students to take the lead and used hands on learning. This approach helped participants develop the opportunity for growth and improvement.

“It was wonderful to be part of this course, most of the class have always enjoyed cooking but had never felt confident enough to it on their own. We started level one cookery with jacket potatoes, and ended level two by graduation day with a healthy vegetable Rogan Josh curry, made from scratch, not a cook-in sauce in sight!  I am so proud of what we have achieved. ”

Support Worker, Sharon

From Jacket Potatoes to Vegetable Biryani

Each week the dishes got better and better, and the excitement of trying the finished food was a highlight of the week for many. From jacket potatoes in week 1 to making Vegetable Biryani and Falafel burgers. By the end of the course, participants had transformed from hesitant learners to more independent cooks. They had developed a sense of accomplishment and pride in their abilities, which extended far beyond the kitchen.

One member, RJ, had struggled with cooking in his kitchen before enrolling in the course. “‘I’m so pleased, I’ve learned so much” he said.

Supportive and Inclusive Environment

The success of the course was down to the importance of adapting instruction to meet the unique needs of individuals with learning disabilities. By focusing on building confidence and self-esteem alongside cooking skills, the program empowered participants to develop essential life skills that will benefit them long after the course has ended.

Smiles on Graduation Day

Course member receiving her certificate.

On graduation day, the atmosphere was abuzz with excitement and pride as students received their well-deserved certificates. As everyone came together to celebrate their achievements, it was impossible not to feel a sense of pride. We are thrilled to acknowledge their efforts, achieved through perseverance, determination, and commitment to the course. And let’s not forget the added bonus – their culinary skills that have presented some truly mouth-watering dishes! We are incredibly proud of each of them for reaching this milestone, and we can’t wait to see what dishes they make in the future.

Happy faces on Graduation Day.

The Life Skills and Cookery program serves as a shining example of what can be achieved when individuals with learning disabilities are given the opportunity to learn and grow in a supportive and inclusive environment. The members now carry with them the knowledge that they are capable of overcoming any obstacle – one delicious dish at a time.

Due to the success and popularity of the course, we are thrilled to announce that we will be opening the classes to new members. The next 6 week ASDAN Cookery and Life Skills course will start on Wednesday 24th July at Bethel Church in Stonehouse. We will look at how to cook and eat healthily., compiling shopping lists, shop for ingredients (learning how to spot a bargain), prepare ingredients, and cook delicious, healthy meals from scratch.

Attendees will receive a cook bag, including an apron and chopping board, along with recipes to keep. They will also receive an ASDAN certificate on graduation day if they complete the course.  All of this for just £285. For more information or to book a place, call 01453 767888 (leave a message if we’re unable to answer), or e-mail Sbaker@guideposts.org.uk   

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