UWTSD and The John Burns Foundation provides cooking programme for local families


Working in partnership with the Better Tomorrow team at the John Burns Centre, Kidwelly, the Widening Access team at UWTSD is offering a project that aims to have a positive impact on health and wellbeing through encouraging families to cook from scratch.

UWTSD works with The John Burns Foundation to provide cooking programme for local families

Food for Thought is a programme run from a purpose built kitchen at the John Burns Centre in Kidwelly which aims to raise confidence and skills in the kitchen, and beyond.

UWTSD’s Widening Access team have seen an opportunity to collaborate with the Better Tomorrow staff of the John Burns Foundation to offer a chance for families to cook together, try new things and meet new people. From making family meals on a budget to cooking healthier and cheaper alternatives to our fast food favourites such as pizzas, burgers and kebabs, the aim is to encourage children and their parents to practice and learn essential skills around food preparation and make better informed decisions when it comes to cooking and eating.

Kate Jenkins, Project Officer at John Burns Foundation, said:

“The ‘Cooking Together’ programme has been a new and exciting project to work in partnership with the UWTSD’s Widening Access team.

The programme aims to help children and their parents to develop the basic skills they need to grow into confident cooks and develop kitchen skills that could help save families money by cooking healthy meals from scratch.

We hope that the families attending the course will learn cooking skills with hands-on practice and hopefully, cooking will become less intimidating and more enjoyable when they learn to prepare healthier, affordable, nutritious meals for all the family to enjoy. It’s also lovely to see parents and children spending one-to-one time, cooking together and for parents to see how capable their children can be in the kitchen.

Research shows that people who frequently cook meals at home eat healthier and consume fewer calories than those who cook less. So, by teaching children how to cook, often means setting them up for a healthier diet in the future.”

The programme also aims to promote cooking as a fun family activity that can be done at home to encourage learning outside of school and boost quality time spent between children and parents. Mared Anthony,

Widening Access Officer at UWTSD, commented:

“I feel it’s especially important in this current climate that we know how to look after our health and know how to make our money go further, so tips from the John Burns Foundation on cost effective, healthy, and tasty meals have been useful all around. 

It’s been wonderful getting to know the families and to see them bond as they take part in an activity that we often rush or take for granted. What I’ve especially loved is talking with both the children and parents beyond the 4 week course to learn that they are still cooking together and re-creating the recipes. The Widening Access team continue to visit Trimsaran School to deliver aspiration and attainment raising workshops, and also continue to work with the parents as part of our adult engagement work with some parents having already visited the Carmarthen campus for a day of activities.”

UWTSD works with The John Burns Foundation to provide cooking programme for local families (2)

Nominated by the school, pupils from Trimsaran Community School and a parent/guardian were invited to take part in this four-week proragmme. It has been run with two cohorts of families from Trimsaran since its launch in September and the team will work with Burry Port Community Primary School during the spring term.  Tomos Jones, Deputy Head of Ysgol Gymunedol Trimsaran, added:

“The project was really worthwhile. The children’s confidence has grown and the commitment of the parents was great. The greatest pleasure was seeing the enthusiasm and desire of the parents to re-create the recipes with the children at home.”

Comments from parent involved in project:

“What I enjoyed the most about the programme is watching my daughter’s confidence grow and making tasty meals for the rest of the family. I’ve learned that my daughter has a great love from cooking and that that cooking healthy meals can be very easy and cost effective.”

Comments from years 5 and 6 pupils of Ysgol Gymunedol Trimsaran:

“I have learned that cooking can be fun and that it can inspire people for future jobs.”

“I have enjoyed spending time with mam, getting to know people and eating and trying new foods.”

For further information, please contact Mared Anthony Widening Access Officer at UWTSD – mared.anthony@uwtsd.ac.uk

UWTSD works with The John Burns Foundation to provide cooking programme for local families (3))

Further Information

For more information please contact Arwel Lloyd, Principal PR and Communications Officer, on 07384 467076 / arwel.lloyd@uwtsd.ac.uk