Male carers in Torbay have been enhancing their cooking skills through a six week programme known as ‘men care about food’.
The programme which was first launched back in June by Simon Hulstone, awarding winning chef of The Elephant restaurant in Torquay, aims to provide male carers with practical hands on experience of preparing and cooking healthy but tasty food.
In addition to this the course provides the men with an understanding of how to ensure a balanced and nutritious diet, whilst meeting health needs or special dietary requirements, as well as how to create meals within a time constraint and within a budget.
James Drummond, Carers Lead at Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust said: “The roles and responsibilities of being a carer can be extremely daunting and the role brings along a whole host of responsibilities, some of which will inevitably involve the day to day running of a household.
“Men from the age of 19 to 83 attended our first cooking programme, and despite having limited experience or knowledge when joining the course they are now able to confidently plan, buy, prepare and cook meals for themselves and those they care for.
“The course is all about ensuring that we can keep our local carers just as healthy as the people who are being cared for.”
Rebecca Bovey, Health Trainer for Carers, from Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust added: “Food plays such a vital role in keeping us healthy and well, and we know that there are many foods that can in fact improve our health.
“The cooking programme is all about learning memorable, easy but healthy meals and the programme develops along the way to meet the needs of the individuals and the people they care for.
“It is also a great opportunity to socialise, share experiences and cooking ideas with other carers. For many of the gentleman it is also a new found activity that helps them to relax and unwind and the group that took part in the first programme are now taking part in our follow up sessions.”
Mr Peter Fryett, from Paignton attended the course and has been a carer for around four years. He said: “The course was extremely interesting and informative. Before I attended I had around four or five dishes that I tended to stick too but the course has given me the confidence to experiment and showed me how simple seemingly complicated recipes actually are.
“The course finished a number of weeks ago now but I have had lots of opportunity to try out my new skills. It was also great to meet other gentleman in the same situation and I had some great fun. I can’t rate the course highly enough. ”
The programme is free and is delivered by trained tutor and caterer Penny Jones. It involves attending a two hours session, once a week, for six weeks. For more details about the ‘men care about food’ cooking programme and dates please contact 01803 208835.