Tell us a little about yourself

I started my working life in the Women’s Royal Air Force in Air Traffic Control and ended it as a Tax Inspector in HMRC – not sure there is a connection between the two. Now in retirement I find myself busier than ever – walking, volunteering with East Anglian Air Ambulance as a public speaker, Pilates, gym sessions and searching out for the perfect coffee/tea and cake at NT properties.

Why did you decide to volunteer with Food etc?

I love food, talking about it to whoever will listen and trying out new recipes. I want to be able to pass on that enthusiasm to families, show them that cooking is enjoyable and fun and give them the confidence to cook healthily for themselves rather than resorting to takeaways.

What do you enjoy most about working with Food etc?

It has been great fun working with the children and their families who are very keen to learn.  The expressions on their faces when they eat and really enjoy something that they have cooked is priceless as is seeing the children have that time with a parent doing something together.

Have you had any challenges?

In the words of Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – “Don’t Panic”. It’s not about perfection but having fun. An ability to be able to adapt quickly to working in kitchen spaces and with equipment that you are not familiar with has helped me. When I started, I did wonder how I would have time to do all the washing up but the children and parents are massively keen to help out.

What would you say to someone considering volunteering with Food etc?

It turns out that despite having no formal qualifications in cooking and teaching, the sessions have gone really well. It is very useful to have the recipes on the Food Etc website so at the beginning you don’t have to worry too much about a cooking plan. The other volunteers are amazing and incredibly helpful so why not give it a go.

What’s your go to healthy meal – inspire us?

My go to meal is the one that uses as many veg as possible roasted with cumin seeds. Plus those that only use one pan like Pasta with pesto, potatoes and green beans which also means less washing up!