New cooking project to help reduce isolation for over 55s

A new project in Coventry is tackling social isolation and helping older people to eat more healthily.

Residents at Skipton Lodge, a sheltered scheme owned and managed by Whitefriars Housing, have been taking part in Cook Together, Eat Together – a project run by Groundwork West Midlands.

Skipton Lodge hosted one of many Cook Together, Eat Together events which will be taking place across Coventry. Residents get together to cook a healthy meal and then sit down together to enjoy what they have cooked.

It’s the start of a National Lottery-funded project which will see the residents at Skipton Lodge take part in a six-week cookery course in the New Year.

Tim Ansell, Retirement Living Manager at Whitefriars, said: “The event was enjoyed by all and the quality of food produced was excellent. Residents all worked together to cook chicken fajitas, chick pea and spinach curry and cherry scones and then sat down together to enjoy the food. They also learned all about the importance of healthy eating and diet as you get older.

“The majority of the residents were involved in cooking, but equally important were the residents who just came along to engage in conversation as the project is all about reducing isolation, improving community spirit and developing friendships.

“Everyone was pleasantly surprised how quick and easy the meals were to prepare and they were already planning their next joint cooking session by the end of the meal. They also took away simple recipes to cook in their own time.

“Residents are now looking forward to starting a six-week cookery course in January to continue socialising and enjoy cooking and eating together.”

James Hoare, Healthy Lifestyles Project Coordinator at Groundwork West Midlands said: “We really enjoyed the taster session that we held at Skipton Lodge. It was great to see the residents getting involved and enjoying the two hours they had with us. With thanks to the National Lottery, we are excited to start the new project with them in January and are looking forward to seeing them all on a weekly basis.”

Cooking up a treat, from left to right: Raymond Baker, resident, Luke Cleaver, Groundwork West Midlands, Linda Ford, resident.