Merthyr Housing’s Can’t Cook Slow Cook project was awarded second place in the 2017 Cwm Taf Crystal Trophy Health board awards. The award recognizes the novel approach MTHA have taken to assisting our tenants and the wider community to engage in healthy cooking and healthy lifestyles and as can be seen from the information below the project has had a far wider impact than was intended when the project was designed.
We intend to continue to run this very popular program and if you are interested in joining in one of the 6 week programs please contact either Carly Litchfield or Nicola Garbett on 01685352800 to find out when there is a program running near you. In the meantime why not take a look at the information below which gives more information on the project and the benefits we have seen to those who have taken part.
The aim of the Can’t Cook Slow Cook project is to encourage individuals and families to foster healthier lifestyles through the use of an easier way to cook. Through this project we have the wider objective of helping to tackle social isolation for individuals who feel marginalized within society, to help maximize their income and help the overall well being of those who engage with the project.
Through talking to our tenants it was clear that they suffer a range of health related problems that are often linked to poor diet. Additional things that we identified as an association was the increase in the amount of Food Bank vouchers that we had issued, especially around the school holidays period, accompanied by the increase in our service users seeking help and advice to change utility supplies to help maximise their income. Through this we created our Can’t Cook Slow Cook Project to help meet these needs.
Through running the project we have been providing our participants with the tools they need to learn to cook in a healthier, affordable and convenient way. As a result of this families and individuals have been eating fresh, healthy meals and have been getting an easier way to consume their five-a-day. As a result of this they have been fostering healthier diets that not only have short term effects to their health but also long term effects, such as reduced risks of developing heart disease and diabetes type two.
We have run a family specific project where we work with parents/guardians and their children. Through this the children and young people learn about food and the importance of healthy balanced diets alongside their parents and guardians. We have been getting both the parents and children engaged with games that help increase their physical activities, which they can also do together as a family. The project helps highlight the importance of both eating healthy and being active in sustaining a healthy lifestyle.
The project has benefited participants in a range of ways. Firstly, through being involved with the project individuals have grown so much in confidence that they progressed to gain their Level 2 in Food Hygiene and Preparation. As a result of this they now volunteer with Can’t Cook Slow Cook and have been instrumental in the planning and delivering the project at the heart of their communities, helping more people to benefit from the project.
For many of those who have engaged with the project they often felt isolated from their communities as a result of either their physical or mental health. Can’t Cook Slow Cook became a way for many of them to start to re-engage with their local community, and helping them to build new friendships. The impact of the project in Dowlais resulted in a shared community garden being made as a result of the friendships that developed and strengthened through the project.
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