Meet Helen

“I’ve only got the one child; she’s my whole world. When she first started at school, it felt like I was losing her. I’d drop her off and it was really difficult, it was so isolating for me. When I was told about the cooking club as part of Flourishing Families, I signed up immediately. It was a six-week course and every week, we’d cook a different recipe. It’s a lovely activity to do because there are no distractions: it’s just you and your child, making a meal together. The great thing is we’d get to take the food away to have for our tea: as a family. People think they need to be able to cook, but it’s not about that; it’s a social activity. It’s a chance to connect with other parents and build a network. It also supports families struggling financially, this is not an affluent area, so it’s great that it can provide that help.

The cooking club helped me enormously with my confidence. I never thought I could do anything: I didn’t feel valued, but they encouraged me. I feel like I am part of a family here and that’s really nice.”

Flourishing Families’ vision is to see children growing in confidence and fulfilling their potential, parents well supported and whole families equipped to connect well with each other and the community. With support from Leeds Community Foundation, they were able to set up parent-led cookery clubs in Bramley where parents and children of different racial heritage and background learn to cook food inspired by the cuisine of different local communities, learning about nutrition and healthy diet.