Woodspeen owner teaches young foster care leavers lifeskills

Youngsters from Newbury-based charity attend cooking classes

Chris Ord


Chris Ord

Woodspeen owner teaches young foster care leavers lifeskills

MICHELIN star chef John Campbell showed a group of youngsters that you don’t need expensive ingredients to create great tasting meals during a series of charity cooking classes.

The group from Newbury-based Young People and Children First were able to improve their kitchen skills during two cookery sessions at The Woodspeen Cookery School.

The charity provides a home for young foster care leavers, who pay rent to live there, while learning the skills to become independent adults.

The young people from the charity’s Thatcham home, Cornerstone, live on a food budget of £15 a week, which they can now use to create their own culinary masterpieces.

Mr Campbell, who runs regular cooking classes at The Woodspeen Cookery School, gave advice on shopping frugally, preparation and storage, as well as teaching some essential cooking skills.

Recipes included a variety of soups, chicken casserole, chicken curry, tuna pasta bake and spaghetti bolognese, as well as a special trifle that was a last-minute addition when one of group told John about a trifle that her mother made when she was a child.

Lorraine Allen from Young People and Children First said: “Here at Cornerstone, we are all delighted for this opportunity to take part in cookery lessons at The Woodspeen Cookery School.

“This will help support our young people and further their basic knowledge of good housekeeping, budgeting and cooking.

“At Cornerstone we have individual support plans in place and we welcome any help and support with these plans to meet the needs of each young person. 

“John has worked with us to tailor this event to the present young people at Cornerstone and we appreciate all of his kindness and input with this venture.”

Following the classes, Mr Campbell, a regular on BBC’s Masterchef and Saturday Kitchen said: “I am delighted to support this local charity.  

“Passing on life skills such as cooking and learning to eat healthily are essential when shopping on a budget.

“With this in mind, the aim was to cook a tasty main meal from scratch that is healthy and under £1. 

“I was impressed with the youngsters’ enthusiasm to learn and their delight when they tasted the dishes they made.”

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