Project is about more than just food

23 April 2019

Local people in Hendon, Sunderland are learning how to cook new recipes in a social environment thanks to a local project.

The Cooking in Community project run a range of cookery classes, courses and activities in a community setting in the Sunderland area.

The project uses food as a tool to engage with the community, improving the health and wellbeing of members as well as promoting social interaction and improving skills.

David Robinson from Social Chef who run the project explained: “We ran previous cooking clubs which were popular and members wanted to continue them.

“Everyone is involved with the project in different ways. Some members help grow the produce we then use in the cooking sessions. We try out different recipes and then work together to improve them.

“It is not just about the food, it is about people growing in confidence and taking ownership of the project.

“People will sit and eat together, sharing food and recipes which are meaningful to them, for example dishes that are evocative of childhood. It is very member-led, and they decide what they want to do.”

The Cooking up Community project is funded by People’s Health Trust with money raised through The Health Lottery in the North East and Cumbria.

The sessions are held in a community venue which means members can get support and advice on other issues too. 

David added: “It also gives members the opportunity to form strong social links by meeting regularly to do something positive together.

“We organise community events where we cook for the wider community. We have had four so far and they have proven to be very successful. The group designed and delivered an afternoon tea style buffet at a volunteer event, a healthy barbecue at a local allotment open day and also a Halloween themed food and treats buffet at a children’s event.

“It was really nice to see everyone work together to organise the events and we were able to use our own produce at all of the events.”


Media enquiries

For media enquiries about People’s Health Trust and Active Communities, please contact Robyn Pierce – 020 7749 9105 / [email protected]

Notes to editors

Social Chef has a holistic approach to improving well-being and believe food can be a fantastic tool for bringing people together and improving self-confidence.

People's Health Trust is an independent charity investing in local communities to help create a society without health inequalities. It works closely with 12 Community Interest Companies raising money through The Health Lottery and distributing grants.

People living in the poorest neighbourhoods in Britain die, on average, seven years younger than people living in the richest neighbourhoods. What’s more, they will spend 17 years more of their shortened lives with an extra disability and have a lower quality of life. We believe that where people live should not unfairly reduce the length or the quality of their lives.

Active Communities is a funding programme for local people with great ideas about how to help create fairer places to grow, live, work and age well.

Health Lottery North East and Cumbria is a regional lottery which exists to address health inequalities in its area.

The lottery is licensed by the Gambling Commission and raises funds through The Health Lottery which are distributed by People’s Health Trust.

The Health Lottery is an independent British lottery scheme. It manages 10 regional and two country lotteries across Great Britain. Each month, the money raised is allocated to one of those areas in rotation. This means that across the year, every area of England, Scotland and Wales gets a share of the funds raised. The 12 lotteries are run for one specific purpose: tackling health inequalities in their respective areas.

Over £107 million has been raised so far. Every £1 ticket bought helps raise even more.

Each of the 12 lotteries is licensed by the Gambling Commission.

You have already completed an application for funding, are you sure you would like to submit another application? You should only submit another application if it is for a different project. If you want to amend an application that has already been submitted, please call us on 020 7749 9100.

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