Nobody could have anticipated what 2020 was going to bring. As the nation was asked to stay at home, the Ministry of Food team had to devise a new plan of action.
During the first lockdown, we found that much of the public were confronting their cookery skills, some for the very first time in their lives.
Online Cookery Classes
A lot of conveniences like restaurants, takeaways and fast-food providers closed their doors for a time, meaning many people had adapt their lifestyle and attempt cooking more meals in their own home. Instead of our usual classroom delivery, we trialled a whole new format: online cookery classes! These classes were hosted by our usual cookery trainers at home, via Zoom, and invited the people of Leeds to cook along with us, or simply watch and learn! We found this format was very successful, and it allowed us to reach even further into Leeds communities and promote our service to new groups of people.
Leeds Market Centre – Face-to-face classes
On the occasions we were able to host classroom sessions again, some of our new online students came into our Leeds markets centre to experience a face-to-face class. On one particular class, we brought together three Leeds ladies who developed a lasting friendship, often enjoying coffee or shopping together after their class.
When we hosted several one-off Christmas taster classes, we were overjoyed to have these ladies attend together, and were pleased to hear that they had stayed connected during the lockdown periods!
Even in a time of distancing and staying safe, it is humbling to know that our service continues to bring people together to learn new skills and build lasting friendships. We look forward to what this year brings, proud of the challenges that we have already overcome.
By Anthony O’Shaughnessy – Ministry of Food Cookery Trainer
If you would like to join our online cookery classes, you can join our Cook Well programme.