This October, Cook Up celebrated 100 sessions with Cook Up staff, volunteers and participants sharing tea and cake.
It has been more than two years since Cook Up started offering kitchen space and support to people experiencing homelessness for them to prepare nutritious and comforting meals for themselves. The idea for Cook Up came from Quaker Social Action's research on unmet needs of people experiencing homelessness. There were existing initiatives that met a basic need for food but none that allowed people to choose their own meals and prepare these for themselves. Cook Up's unique premise is that having control over what to eat, socialising in a welcoming environment and gaining confidence and skills can improve well-being.
Today, over 100 participants have taken part in Cook Up. These include people who are street homeless, living in hostels and other temporary accommodation and without access to kitchens, refugees and people seeking asylum. We aim to promote the Cook Up model and advocate for people seeking asylum to be located within local communities and have access to facilities where they can prepare healthy and culturally appropriate food for themselves and their families.