Building confidence and skills with young carers’ families

We delivered a  six-week course of cookery workshops for young carers and their families who are supported by West Mid Beds Locality Children’s Services which were funded by Bedfordshire & Luton Community Foundation.

At each of the six sessions there were five families who learned to cook healthier, tasty and cheaper alternatives to take away foods.

The fact that they kept coming back week after week indicates that they enjoyed the course for a variety of reasons.


  • On the first week and on the sixth week of the course parents were asked to complete a questionnaire.
  • Most of them said that the main reasons they attended the course were to improve their health & wellbing and to enjoy spending time cooking together with their children. By the end of the course all of the parents said they had learned new recipes and improved their health and wellbeing. Several said that they were cooking together at home more than before they did the course.
  • On week one only one family said they were cooking meals from scratch at least 5 times a week. By the end four out of the five families said they were.
  • Most families said that they wanted to improve their health and cut costs by improving how they eat at home.
  • The challenges the families faced which stopped them making changes to how they eat at home include busy family life, working, mental health issues and caring for children with challenging needs.
  • At the end of the course the parents said they cook more varied meals using new recipes either that they learned on the course or that they now have the confidence to experiment with.
  • All participants said that if Food etc ran more courses they would come.


It has been a fantastic course that has increased our knowledge and my son’s skills. He now helps me more with shopping and cooking.” Disabled parent.

Things that previously weren’t liked, I now incorporate into meals in different ways to see if that works because I have more confidence in cooking.” Parent

 Katy Price, Family Partner, Young Carers Lead, West Mid Beds Children’s Services said: “Five of our families signed up to complete the six-week cookery workshops with Food etc. These workshops were invaluable to our families and gave them the opportunity to spend time with one another in a safe and friendly environment. It was lovely to see families working together as a team to prepare and cook food that many had never cooked before.

“This has led to many of our families trying the recipes at home which has not only provided them with that quality time spent with one another but has led to a more creative way of cooking food and thus leading to healthier body and mind! The feedback I have received from the parents and young people has been very positive Thank you Food, etc.”


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