Dozens of families in Newcastle’s West End are set to get extra help with healthy eating thanks to a new initiative from an award-winning community charity and funding from Newcastle Building Society.
Healthworks is using a £2,980 Society grant to organise a series of eight cookery demonstrations and workshops for people from the local community to help inspire them with ideas and techniques for how they can eat more healthily on a low budget.
The sessions will mostly take place at Healthworks’ premises in Benwell and Lemington, although some will be delivered in community locations elsewhere in the city.
Participants will also get the chance to earn recognised Level Two food hygiene accreditations through their involvement with the project, which could help them find employment in the future.
The funding has been provided through the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation, which offers grants to charities and community groups located in or around the communities served by the Society’s branch network.
Healthworks is an award-winning charity that supports people of all ages to enable them to lead longer, happier and healthier lives, and aims to preserve, protect and improve health and life outcomes across North East England.
As well as running group activities like the healthy eating workshops, it also provides bespoke one-to-one support tailored to individuals’ different lifestyle and health needs, including diabetes, blood pressure and weight management, and works in a number of schools across the city to reach younger residents.
During the pandemic, Healthworks switched to delivering many of its services remotely, with more than 160 families taking part in virtual online ‘healthy eating on a budget’ sessions last year.
Kath English, Director of Health Promotion at Healthworks, says: “Our aim is to maximise the health and well-being benefits and outcomes that we can deliver to local families, and equipping them with greater knowledge and skills around diet and healthy eating is absolutely central to this work.
“The sessions have been designed to offering practical inspiration and ideas for incorporating healthy eating into everyday meal planning and preparation, while also promoting the health and lifestyle benefits that go along with it.
“Offering a recognised qualification as part of the project provides an extra incentive for people to get involved and ties in with the holistic approach that we look to take towards supporting local families.
“There’s usually a cost attached to providing the accreditation element of this project, so being able to use the Society’s funding to offer both this and the wider course free of charge is a real boost to both our work and the well-being of the many families that are taking part.”
Samantha Martlew, manager at Newcastle Building Society’s West Denton branch, adds: “Healthworks is doing fantastic work in improving the health, well-being and prospects of people living across our home city and it’s great for us to be supporting a project that will deliver so many long-term benefits.”
Since its launch in 2016, Newcastle Building Society’s Community Fund has contributed over £2.1m in grants and partnerships to a wide variety of charities and projects across the region, including the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the Prince’s Trust.
The grants are so far estimated to have had a positive impact on more than 151,000 people.
The Newcastle Building Society Community Fund is run in association with the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.