Community Cooking

Community Cooking

The Health Challenge Wales Cooking Bus

The Cooking Bus, launched in 2006, travels to Communities First areas across all counties of Wales, working with primary schools and communities. It is run by Focus on Food – a charitable food education programme that believes cooking is an essential ingredient for healthy, happy lives. For more information about Focus on Food, please visit

During school visits the Cooking Bus run hands-on cooking experiences preparing healthy recipes with pupils. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is provided for staff to increase their confidence to cascade and maintain cooking skills in the curriculum and in community settings. Since 2006, over 33,000 children have visited the Cooking Bus and over 4,000 staff from schools, pre-school and community settings have been trained.

From September 2013, the Health Challenge Wales Cooking Bus will be widening the range of free training sessions, to include:

•  a session for teachers and teaching assistants
•  a session for community and schools-based early years staff
•  a session for community-based staff (who are leading or planning to lead food and cooking
activities with parents, young families or young people).

The Cooking Bus team also offers follow up visits to schools to help embed cooking skills into the school curriculum. We work closely with local Healthy Schools teams and Public Health Dietitians to arrange the visits.

For more information about the Cooking Bus or to take part in one of the training sessions, please contact Richard Shaw (Advisory Teacher) on 07920 793949 or [email protected]

Get Cooking

The Get Cooking! training course helps young people aged between 14 and 25 to learn basic cooking skills in a community setting. The aim of Get Cooking is to provide trainers with a toolkit to teach young people, broadly between the ages of 14 and 25 and others some basic cooking skills in a community setting. Through Get Cooking young people learn basic cooking skills so that they feel a sense of achievement and enjoy the experience. The Food Standards A developed a trainer’s guide and weekly recipe resources for Get Cooking. Get Cooking! comprises six weekly sessions and, by the end of the course, it is  expected that people will feel more motivated about cooking for themselves. They are also expected to understand some basic principles concerning healthy eating and food hygiene so they can apply them to their own health and well-being.

Click on to read and download the Get Cooking! toolkit.

Women Participating in a Get Cooking Course

Members of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) Wales are currently delivering the Get Cooking course to young people as part of the NFWI’s response to Health Challenge Wales.In 2005 NFWI were awarded a Health Challenge Wales Voluntary Sector Grant to deliver 28 Get Cooking courses. From April 2005 to March 2007, Get Cooking courses were held in Anglesey, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, Clwyd-Flint, Glamorgan, Pembrokeshire and Powys Montgomery. There is central co-ordination from the NFWI head office in Cardiff, with the Food Standards Agency Wales and a project steering committee. There is a local nominated lead in each federation. The courses are organised in partnership with a range of different agencies that work with and support young people including, Communities First in Holywell, Sure Start in Welshpool, Bettws LIFE Centre and youth clubs in Anglesey. NFWI are currently seeking funding to continue Get Cooking! with parents. If you would like more information about the project please contact Sarah Thomas at the NFWI-Wales Office, telephone number  02920 221712 or email [email protected].

‘Get Cooking’ in Gurnos

An evaluation of the ‘Get Cooking’ project established in New Gurnos has been produced by the SHARP Triangle Project.
The Triangle Project has been working with residents of three post-industrial communities in south Wales categorised as disadvantaged under official indicators. Its aim has been to show the most effective ways of breaking the cycle of poor health by providing communities with the tools to address the issues they actually experience and want to resolve.
A short course in ‘participative action research’ run by the Triangle Project focused on exploring barriers to healthy eating in the three Gurnos communities, the result of which was to establish and run ‘Get Cooking’ classes. To view the report click on To view the report click on ‘Get Cooking’ evaluation report.


Get Cooking DVD

A DVD has been produced demonstrating a basic cookery skills course involving refugees and older people from Newport. The refugees learnt how to cook basic healthy British food and were tutored by a group of senior volunteers. The DVD shows how key health messages were promoted through the cookery skills course by reducing the fat and salt content in recipes and including plenty of fruit and vegetables with meals. In addition it highlights how the course promoted community cohesion and reduced the social isolation faced by those involved. For more information or to obtain a copy of the DVD contact Clayton O’Keefe Communities First Development Worker Stowhill on email [email protected] or telephone 01633 243303.

Eat Clever

In June 2005, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) Wales launched Eat Clever, a toolkit designed to introduce people to basic food preparation skills, food hygiene principles and the key elements of nutrition.  It is accredited to OCN Level One, enabling successful participants to obtain a Basic Nutrition, Hygiene and Food Skill Certificate in recognition of their efforts. Based on the AFAL award winning ‘Operation Christmas Turkey’ initiative piloted by Anglesey Local Health Alliance, it is typically delivered as a series of 5 half day classes, introducing the participants to basic cooking skills, nutrition advice and food hygiene principles. The initiative aims to address many of the barriers to good nutrition and enables the participants to gain the confidence to practice basic cookery skills at home.
For more information visit the CIEH Website.