Love Local was a community engagement project that tackled health inequalities in Peterborough, in particular levels of obesity and associated chronic disease. It did this by addressing barriers to healthy eating through a linked programme of cooking skills, nutrition knowledge and food growing skills.
First established in 2011, Love Local has been working in some of the most deprived areas of Peterborough. It was set up in response to preliminary research showing that some of the main drivers of obesity in the city were a lack of healthy cooking skills, limited access to affordable healthy food, societal norms and the influence of the media (e.g. junk food advertising).
The most recent phase of the project ran between October 2013 and September 2014. We worked with two of the most deprived areas of the city where rates of obesity and associated disease are particularly high. Targeting members of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, our work involved 4 distinct elements:
1. ‘Let’s Cook and Eat’ workshops: A practical cooking course designed to teach basic cooking skills and improve nutritional knowledge.
2. ‘Let’s Get Growing’ workshops: A practical food-growing course designed to improve food-growing knowledge and increase access to healthy, local food.
3. Local Food Group: Love Local set up and facilitated monthly meetings, bringing people with an interest in local food together.
4. Community events: Love Local delivered fun and interactive activities at family-friendly events, designed to bring the community together to showcase and celebrate local food.
Until June 2015, the Love Local project team worked on a 6-month project, funded by the Communities Learning Trust. Working across 5 inner-city hostels, we delivered healthy cooking classes to adults aged 19+, many of whom are unemployed, socially isolated and/or suffer with mental health problems.
Our workshops consisted of a 3-hour interactive cooking demonstration and hands-on cooking, followed by a sit down meal where learners try their culinary creations with fellow participants. Participants cooked a variety of cuisines including Brazilian, South Asian, Mexican and more. We also covered essential skills such as budgeting, shopping for fresh ingredients and healthy eating.
Below you will find a list of some websites which we hope you find useful:
– A good diet is central to overall good health, but do you know the best foods to include in your meals, and those best avoided? This website looks at the facts, to help you make realistic, informed choices.
British heart Foundation
– Provides fantastic, practical advise about living a more active and healthy lifestyle.
British Nutrition Foundation
– Provides nutrition information for teachers, health professionals, scientists, and general public. Publications, conferences and educational resources.
– Change4Life has loads of healthy eating tips and recipes, and fun ways to exercise. Change4Life is here to help you and your kids eat well and move more.
Eat the Seasons
– Seasonal food information, tips and recipe ideas, updated every week.
– Why five a day is important and how you can get your five portions of fruit and veg.
Food Standards Agency
– UK Government body shows current research in food safety, nutrition and food-related disease, with notes on scientific surveys, enforcement of good practice.
– Food Standards Agency section on food labelling.
Friends of the Earth
– Find out how you can help to ‘Fix the Food Chain’ by joining this fresh new campaign.
– Greeniversity offers a range of free courses taught by ordinary people. There are courses about how to grow your own veg, how to knit, how to customise charity shop clothes, how to ride (and service) your bike, and even how to insulate your loft.
– Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, enrich society and culture and promote equity.
Keep it Simple Cookery
KIS stands for Keep It Simple and is a BigBarn initiative to help more people enjoy great food and save money. You can browse the videos to find recipes using cheaper, seasonal ingredients.
Love British Food
– The one-stop-shop for consumers, retailers, caterers and schools wanting to enjoy the diverse and delicious food that Britain produces.
– Information from the National Health Service on conditions, treatments, local services and healthy living.
Peterborough City Council
– Unitary Authority site listing council services and councillors, with information on local groups and organisations.
Riverford Organic vegetables
– Riverford delivers organic fruit, veg and meat boxes and other fresh food from a network of five farms.
School Food Trust
– Information about school food and school food skills.
Supermarket Health Checker Tool
– Use the NHS Choices Health Checker tool on mysupermarket.co.uk to cut the sat fat, salt and sugar in your weekly shop. The health checker keeps track of your trolley and suggests healthy swaps based on your favourite items.