Community Links crowned regional cooking champion

22 February 2013

A community organisation in Newham, East London has won a special award for its contribution towards reducing health inequalities and bringing local communities together by teaching people how to cook.

A community organisation in Newham, East London has won a special award for its contribution towards reducing health inequalities and bringing local communities together by teaching people how to cook.

Community Links has been singled out for praise after launching a new Let’s Get Cooking club for men aged 20-40, who are unemployed, using money raised by HealthLives through The Health Lottery.

The club has been awarded a Golden Spoon gong from Let’s Get Cooking after using cooking to help club members become more self-reliant and self-sufficient with food while creating a support network for unemployed people in the local community.

Ralph Corkill, who helps run the Let’s Get Cooking club, said: “Some of our members rely on others for a place to stay so learning to cook is a survival skill for them. The club has created a network for them so that they can all help each other afford to eat well. Members have become really experimental with food and club together to buy ingredients to help each other cook meals.

“It’s had a huge impact on one member in particular, Leon. Coming to the club has given him a routine again, something to get up for and something positive to focus on. Learning to cook has given him such a sense of worth that it’s helped him find a new job.”

Maggie Sims senior manager at Let’s Get Cooking, the country’s largest network of healthy cooking clubs, said: “Using food and cooking is a natural way to bring people together. With Community Links, we’ve seen first-hand how it can help people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, build relationships and make new friends.

“Learning how to cook a nutritious meal from scratch and on a budget, can make such a difference to people’s health, and it’s so much more fun when you can do it alongside others.”

Community Links attended the national ceremony in London where special prizes for the overall Golden Spoon winners were presented by keen cook and teaching champion Kate Bellingham, best known for hosting Tomorrow’s World and Children’s ITV programme, the Big Bang.


Photo caption: Let’s Get Cooking club coordinator Ralph and club member Leon celebrate winning their Golden Spoon award.

For more information, contact Sarah Fagan on 07823 337 308 / [email protected]

Notes for editors:

About Let’s Get Cooking

Led by the Children’s Food Trust, Let’s Get Cooking provides training, resources and support to help others set up healthy cooking programmes for people of all ages
We’ve worked with students at university, staff at work, residents in care homes, families through children’s centres and charities, as well as with other organisations and campaigns such as the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee, Change4Life, the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and the Best Practice Network
Let’s Get Cooking has established England’s biggest network of healthy, school-based cooking clubs for children and families with support from a £20m grant from the BIG Lottery - reaching more than 1 million people
The Children’s Food Trust is a registered charity improving school meals, children’s food and related skills, with a vision that all children are able to have the balanced diet, cooking skills and food education that will help them reach their full potential.
The Trust is one of only seven organisations in the country to hold a 2011 Health Promotion and Community Wellbeing Organisation and Partnership award from the Royal Society for Public Health
For more information visit
HealthLives is a Community Interest Company committed to prioritising and raising money for health inequalities in East London.

The Health Lottery is operated for and on behalf of 51 Community Interest Companies across England, Scotland and Wales, all holding society lottery licenses granted by the Gambling Commission.

People's Health Trust is an independent charity helping to address health inequalities across Great Britain. It works closely with each Community Interest Company supporting the distribution of grants.

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