HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Lucy May set up The Organic Cookery School in 2004, with Frances Williams, after collaborating on a Lottery-funded extended learning program. Many of the schools who benefitted from this project wanted to continue offering cookery and nutrition courses to children and parents, but lacked the confidence, resources and skills in house to make this happen.
Soon after, The Organic Cookery School was born - a not for profit organisation which aimed to promote and deliver cookery and nutrition activities to children, families & young people and train teachers and volunteers to expand the provision within their own setting.
After a successful pilot in 2005, offering afterschool cookery clubs to children who were struggling academically, they extended the programme to include family learning, which is now a main focus of many funded Organic Cookery School projects.
Since setting up in 2004, we have taught over 30,000 children and parents in schools, libraries and children’s centres across the South East of England.
We’ve trained and provided employment and supported volunteering opportunities to over 60 teachers, tutors and volunteers.
We have been finalists for the last three years in the British Cookery School Awards in the category of community engagement.
How have we achieved this:
The support of funding organisations such as the BIG Lottery and People’s Health Trust, and our work with a number of local authorities as approved family learning delivery partners, has been critical to our ability to identify and respond to need, and develop programmes which have a proven impact on the people we work it. But it’s not all about funding, and we reach as many if not more people annually through our social enterprise trading activities.
Our business plan for 2017-20 includes the expansion of our geographical reach, through the launch of an accredited tutor training programme. This will increase our capacity to offer our services to schools, children’s centres and community organisations and create work and volunteering opportunities across the UK.