Healthy cooks – Maz, Dimitri, Sheik, Tutor Vicky, Justin and Lloyd have been cooking up great food on a budget at the first BCHA Learn Food for Life course
Healthy cooks – Maz, Dimitri, Sheik, Tutor Vicky, Justin and Lloyd have been cooking up great food on a budget at the first BCHA Learn Food for Life course

BCHA Learn’s mission to help people eat healthily and cheaply during the cost of living crisis continues, with its latest free course for Dorset adults - Food for Life.

The first, five-week Food for Life course began in Bournemouth in September and is already helping local people to plan, buy and cook healthy meals on a small budget.

Course participant Sheik said: “I am a trained chef, but I have been through a struggle with my mental health and had to leave work.

“This course is great because it is helping me to learn to use my skills to keep myself healthy and also meet people.

“It’s a small group, very relaxed and friendly and with no pressure, plus we get a basic accreditation - all things which I know will help me get settled back into life and work.”

Mum-of-one Maz agreed: “I am from Poland and love to cook Polish food with my young son, but I also want to cook a wider range of meals, whilst also sticking to my family’s budget.

“Our tutor Vicky is helping us to cook from scratch using affordable ingredients, we can also batch cook and freeze. I am really enjoying being in the kitchen with the group and will be taking these new recipes back home to my family.”

Justin is in recovery from addiction and says Food for Life is helping him to learn to cook healthily for the first time.

“I’ve tended to eat rubbish in the past, whatever is there really, so I like learning how to put simple meals together from scratch.

“Today, we have learned how to make a healthy tomato pasta sauce which costs a fraction of a shop bought sauce but tastes even better. Vicky shows us how this can be added to dozens of different things to make meals. I am going to add some chicken to mine. I would recommend this course.”

BCHA Learn, based in Boscombe, is the wellbeing, skills and employability arm of charitable housing trust BCHA.

Food for Life is being taught by trained counsellor and cooking tutor Vicky Ashley.

She said: “It’s an enjoyable cooking-based course with some basic information on choosing and buying the best value, healthy ingredients, plus some valuable employability advice.

“In this, our first Food for Life course, people are already gelling together well, and responding really positively to what they are learning. It’s great to see people having fun cooking from scratch, realising how cheaply this can be done and ultimately making some great tasting nutritious food they can go and away and cook for them and their loved ones.”

Any Dorset-based adult aged 19 or above can take part in Food for Life.

The course takes place at Trinity Methodist Church, 84 Southbourne Rd, Bournemouth BH6 5AG and all ingredients are provided free. Everyone completing the course will also receive basic accreditation and two £10 shopping vouchers.

To register for the next free course contact or visit the BCHA Learn section of our website.


Media information on this release from Debbie Granville at: 

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