The ‘Come Dine With Me’ group began with young people who were attending open access activities facilitated by our youth development team. The young people wanted to try a new activity whilst challenging themselves to learn new skills and gain relevant qualifications.

The Intervention

Young people were guided by staff to work as a team to make decisions on what to cook and the reasons behind it. The group were also supported when learning new cooking skills in the kitchen such as chopping veg and boiling rice.

Some young people needed prompting when it came to kitchen hygiene and food safety, and staff were able to help them learn about the importance of these elements when cooking. Furthermore, as part of this delivery, the group were shown how to safely use different knives and cutting techniques, which helped them to feel more confident and safer in the kitchen.

The Impact

At the start of this project, the group struggled with teamwork and often left things incomplete, impacting the outcome of any tasks set. By the end of this project, they were able to start dividing jobs between the team and work together to get tasks done, such as creating a menu, shopping for the ingredients, and creating the final dishes. Individuals who struggled with confidence at the start of the project were excelling at expressing their opinions and ideas by the end, as they were supported by other group members to have their say. 

Before the sessions, the group had limited knowledge of food hygiene and kitchen safety, with many saying they had never cooked before or hardly get the chance to at home. At the end of the sessions, everyone had learnt the basics of proper handwashing, how to prevent cross-contamination, and skills such as using an oven and cutting food.