Jeremy Hunt pops in for High Tea at Bells Piece
Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey, popped in to enjoy spot of tea with a group of people who have learning disabilities at Leonard Cheshire Disability’s care home Bells Piece in Farnham.
Bells Piece provides care and support for 86 adults with a learning disability, who either live at the service or who live within the community.
Mr Hunt was offered high tea, specially prepared by the group, who have all successfully completed cooking courses offered by Bells Piece’s Healthy Eating and Life Skills project.
The aim of the course is to teach people with a learning disability how to plan and prepare healthy meals and gain more of an understanding about where our food comes from. Mr Hunt first came to see the training kitchen when the three year project officially launched in June 2012.
The Healthy Eating and Life Skills project was made possible thanks to a £221,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund.
Research indicates that adults with a learning disability often face difficulties learning how to cook healthily. This can lead to them having unbalanced diets and also means that they miss out on the social experience of cooking.
By the time of its completion the Healthy Eating and Life Skills project will have supported staff working with 180 adults with a learning disability to develop their culinary skills and confidence. It covers areas such as a healthy and balanced diet, portion control, personal and food hygiene, kitchen safety and how to plan and cook a meal for one or more people.
Speaking about training courses he has been on since the kitchen opened, Antony Daly said: “I have been coming to Bells Piece for a long time. I have learnt a lot about how to cook and what food is healthy. I really enjoy working in the kitchen here and I would like to get a catering job. "
Jeremy Hunt, MP said: “It was great to visit the Bells Piece kitchen again following its launch in 2012. The Healthy Eating and Life Skills project is a fantastic initiative and the trainees I met were full of enthusiasm for what they’ve learned, proud of the skills they’ve acquired and clearly knowledgeable about what eating healthily means. I had great fun with them preparing high tea and I wish the trainees and staff at Bells Piece continuing success with the project.”
Karen Barron, the service manager at Bells Piece said: “It’s been a joy setting up this project and I hope to see it continuing for many years more. Some of the people who’ve been through our cooking courses have absolutely blossomed and it’s been incredibly rewarding to see them gaining the skills and confidence to make a healthy dinner for themselves and their families.
“Many of the adults on the project have now reached a level where they could work in a kitchen environment, with the right level of support. We hope to work with businesses in the community to support these able and enthusiastic people to into employment.”
To find out more about Leonard Cheshire Disability or Bells Piece, visit LCDisability.org