Norman is very proud that he was a part of this. We’ve seen how he likes to be involved in cooking and how much he is able to do
Norman lives in Fishponds at one of our supported living services for people with learning disabilities. He recently had the opportunity to take part in a 12 week cookery course called ‘Healthy Me’.
The course, which begins with a new cohort this month (September 2022), aims to improve the diet and health of people with learning disabilities by supporting them to make the connection between what they eat and their physical and mental health. Norman and the other participants were taught to cook a range of healthy dishes with a focus on fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and fibre. They gained practical and planning skills, as well as key nutritional knowledge about maintaining a healthy diet.
An important element of ‘Healthy Me’ is that people with learning disabilities take part in the course alongside the people responsible for their care. This ensures that everyone involved in daily meal planning, shopping and cooking is given the same understanding of what a healthy diet is and learns the same skills in order to achieve it.
Norman attended the course with Anna, one of his support workers. Anna feels that Norman benefited hugely from the course. She said:
“Norman is very proud that he was a part of this training. He really enjoyed it and talks about it all the time.”
Norman was delighted to present food he cooked on the course to his brother. Since the course finished, he also cooks dinner for his housemates once per week, with help from his support staff. They choose recipes they learned on the course or seek out other healthy options.
Anna thinks that her and Norman’s participation in ‘Healthy Me’ has benefited everyone at their service. She said:
“As staff members, we now constantly think about how to make dishes in a healthier way. We’ve seen how Norman likes to be involved in cooking and how much he is able to do. It was a good lesson for all of us.”
Lisa Bayley, Milestones’ Head of Learning, said:
“We are excited to offer the ‘Healthy Me’ cookery course again. The last one was a massive success with people enjoying cooking delicious meals, meeting new people and having fun! We know that, in general, people with learning disabilities have poorer health than people who don’t have learning disabilities. ‘Healthy Me’ aims to support people to develop skills to improve their cooking, which will help them to achieve better health outcomes.”
‘Healthy Me’ is funded and instigated by Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (BNSSG ICB), and delivered by Square Food Foundation, in partnership with Milestones Trust and Brandon Trust.