People in Coventry living with mental health issues have been given a helping hand by the WPH Charitable Trust which has awarded £1,500 towards courses teaching them how to cook healthy foods all on a limited budget.

The money was awarded to Coventry charity "Actively Influencing Mental Health Services (AIMHS)", which is using the money towards delivering ‘Food For Thought’ cookery courses.

AIMHS originally commenced delivering food related training in 2010, and have been regularly oversubscribed. However since the last course finished in April 2017, no further funding had been available until WPH Charitable Trust stepped in, when as a result of popular demand AIMHS made an application in the hope of bringing the courses back.

Available for up to ten people a time the five courses, each consisting of five weekly two-hour sessions and running over a total six-month period, aim to reduce social isolation, increase education and reduce food poverty.

The courses are open primarily to people who live alone and who for a variety of reasons have found themselves living more and more on fast food and takeaways.

Some people have never been taught how to cook for themselves, while others may have lost their confidence in relation to cooking.

Andrew Collis, Service Manager of AIMHS, said as well as teaching people how to budget for the ingredients, those who have attended the course have learned to cook a variety of healthy dishes including vegetarian curries, chilli, and some low-fat desserts.

Food for Thought

Kay Wheeler - AIMHS Administrator

"The aim of these and other AIMHS courses is to alleviate social exclusion and to promote health and wellbeing, as well as providing volunteering opportunities for its stakeholders and reducing the stigma associated with mental illness on a local, regional and national level."

Andrew said the courses are beneficial to people of all ages and abilities. All take place in public settings, including, community venues in the city centre, the public library and a mental health day hospital.

He added: "We are very grateful to WPH Charitable Trust for making it possible for us to carry out this project that is helping to reduce isolation and address issues relating to food poverty of people in our community who endure mental health problems.

"The majority of the grant has paid for food and ingredients, given to people so that they could cook our recipes for themselves at home."

For further details log on to www.warwickshirehealthcharity.org.uk

Alternatively, applications can be sent by post to: Secretary to the WPH Charitable Trust, c/o Blythe Liggins, Edmund House, Rugby Road, Leamington Spa, CV32 6EL.

Kay Wheeler - AIMHS Administrator AIMHS

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