Burnley charities team up to create healthy and energy-saving meals for families struggling to make ends meet

Charities and groups in Burnley are coming together to help families create healthy, energy-saving meals.
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Community hub Burnley Together was recently approached by James Anderson from Depher CIC regarding a large number of slow cookers he wanted to donate to local people.

Burnley Together coordinator Nicola Larnach saw it as a wonderful opportunity to bring the community and Burnley Together partners even closer together.

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PASTA (Play and Skills at Teatime Activities) is an after-school club that is delivered in Burnley and across Lancashire.

James AndersonJames Anderson
James Anderson

This is for local families with the aim of promoting healthier eating and physical activity in a fun, interactive and safe environment.

With rising fuel and food costs, incorporating the slow cookers into the sessions will help families create low-cost healthy meals while using less energy than traditional cooking methods.

Participants will then be able to take the slow cookers home and recreate the recipes in their own kitchens, giving them the chance to try new foods while saving money.

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Each PASTA session includes games and opportunities for families to play together with their own brand-new play equipment. The children then participate in healthy eating themed games while the parents head into the kitchen for a cooking skill and learning workshop.

Representatives of Burnley Leisure, Depher and Burnley TogetherRepresentatives of Burnley Leisure, Depher and Burnley Together
Representatives of Burnley Leisure, Depher and Burnley Together
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On completion of the course, Depher will also provide the families purchase with Aldi vouchers that can use towards food to aid their new cooking skills.

There are several partners contributing to the programmes, including members of the Burnley Leisure and Culture team, Action for Children’s Active Families team, BFC in the Community, primary school support teams and LCC Children and Family Well-being service.

Burnley Together was formed in March 2020 as an emergency response to support the community through the pandemic. However, it has since become clear that there is a greater requirement for this particular type of service on longer-term basis.

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The hub is currently working on plans to support the community in new ways to help meet the changing needs of those in the area as the pandemic response slows down.

Since 2017, Depher has supported more than 17,000 households with free and low-cost plumbing and heating services over the years.

James is also donating slow cookers to various other groups though Burnley Together, including Brighter Lives cooking group and other support opportunities are being explored.

Nicola from Burnley Together, said: “When James approached me with this brilliant opportunity, I knew that by working together and bringing the Burnley Together partners onboard, we could help make a real difference to the lives of those in our community.”

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Cheryl Goodman, Health Partnership Manager at Burnley Leisure and Culture, said: “PASTA is providing us with an incredible opportunity to support families in Burnley; it’s all about connecting services and organisations with families and providing the time and space for families to learn, play and eat together.

"The slow cooker donations from Depher add so much to the offer and demonstrates high quality partnership working in the town.”

James said: “We’re working together and doing this because we know that the price rising coming in shortly with gas and electric are going to have a big impact, along with food price rises. Together, we can educate people and show different ways of cooking that will cost less and be more beneficial to themselves and their children.“