Children in Liverpool recently got a taste of healthy eating and practical food skills thanks to a sponsorship agreement arranged through the housing association Riverside.
Junior Chefs' Academy has a long-standing partnership with the building and energy efficiency contractor Sustainable Group (UK) so when the company won a place on a major insulation framework for Riverside, it proposed using Junior Chefs sessions to deliver an added social dimension to its work.
Riverside welcomed the proposal, which it saw could sit well alongside its work with Liverpool East Youth Consortium. The housing association therefore teamed up with Junior Chefs' Academy to run a series of ten food education workshops across Knotty Ash, Yew Tree and West Derby.
The sessions themselves were all funded by Sustainable Group (UK), and took place at venues including Priority Youth, M&H Academy, Deysbrook Village Centre and SMARTY’s. As ever, the aim of the workshops was to make food education fun and, thus, to help young people make better choices about diet, exercise and lifestyle.
Riverside’s Community Engagement Officer Sophie Heneghan said: “We recognise how difficult it can be to keep the kids entertained over the school holidays so the Junior Chefs workshops are just one of a number of things we've been organising across the city to keep boredom at bay during the seven week break.
"The workshops are entertaining and the kids clearly love them, but there's also a serious message behind them. Food education can have lasting benefits, and we're glad to be playing a role in promoting the health and wellbeing of local children and their families.
“What’s more, all the ingredients, equipment, study materials, hats, aprons and recipe packs are provided so the workshops don’t cost our residents a penny. And the children get to take home their culinary creations for the whole family to enjoy.”
In addition to the youth classes, Riverside and Junior Chefs also organised intergenerational workshops in the housing association's Care and Support scheme at Hawthorne Court in Bootle and Tuebrook Hope Centre.
Speaking on behalf of Junior Chefs' Academy, head chef Paul Cooper said: "We're very pleased to be working with Riverside and very grateful, once again, to Sustainable Group for its continuing sponsorship and support. As a result of this collaboration, we've been able to deliver the healthy eating message to many different local communities. Through the workshops, we've been encouraging children to understand the real value of food and showing them how the knowledge they gain today can help protect their health for a lifetime."
Riverside is one of the UK’s leading social housing and regeneration organisations, owning or managing around 55,000 homes. It provides sheltered and supported housing for elderly, homeless and vulnerable people, in addition to affordable properties for rent and shared ownership. For more information visit www.riverside.org.uk.
Sustainable Group (UK) Ltd is a building contractor with interests in building services, construction and energy efficiency. Operating throughout the UK, it handles everything from new-build sustainable housing projects to multi-million pound refurbishment and external insulation contracts. For more information visit www.sustainablegroupuk.com