IMPACT’s Tasty Team, UK
Problems in the UK associated with poor diets and a lack of exercise are well known. Rapidly rising obesity levels for children and adults will have long-term negative implications on the nation’s health. Associated conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers are also increasing and putting further pressure on the National Health Service.
IMPACT has found that it is not only a lack of knowledge or awareness that prevents people from improving their eating habits. Other factors also preventing people from helping themselves to eat healthily include:
- Lack of practical skills, whether they be cooking or gardening
- Low levels of confidence in the kitchen or garden
- Restricted access to fresh produce through cost or transport constraints
- No suitable ground on which to grow fresh produce
The IMPACT Tasty Team has been tackling these factors head-on. By participating in the Tasty Team project many people in West Sussex have acquired life-long skills to help them make important changes to improve their diet and eating habits.
“The opportunities IMPACT has provided have been an invaluable asset to Blackwell School. We are thrilled with the activities and support – it has certainly moved the school community forward in many ways.”
Ali O’Neill, Head, Blackwell Primary School, East Grinstead
There are three parts of the IMPACT Tasty Team which together make an exciting and innovative project in West Sussex:
The IMPACT Tasty Team run a variety of Get Cooking courses. The participants learn basic cookery techniques, improve their confidence in the kitchen and further their knowledge of sound nutrition by attending one of these practical courses. Courses include:
- Get Cooking courses for parents
- After School Cookery Clubs at primary schools for pupils and parents together
- One to one cooking for older gentlemen
- Get Cooking courses for target groups such as unemployed young people, young parents, adults with learning difficulties
- Tasty sessions at primary schools for a class at a time on one of the following healthy themes
- Drinks, and
“The girls have all gained so much from the Get Cooking course and have been trying plenty of food they have never tried before.”
Lissa Bruce, Support Worker, Lifehouse Hostel for Homeless Young Mothers, Crawley
Fork to Fork Gardening
Growing fruit and vegetables is fun and rewarding. Through the IMPACT Tasty Team project we help pupils in primary schools grow a variety of produce in raised beds within the school grounds. We come in and build the raised beds and then provide free seeds and cuttings.
Pupils visit the beds on a regular basis with an IMPACT Garden Mentor who helps the pupils grow produce such as potatoes, peas, carrots, spinach, beetroot, lettuce, tomatoes.
The pupils thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to plant seeds and cuttings and care for them as they grow. Best of all is when they can pick the fruit and vegetables and take them home to eat.
“We have our first produce from the raised beds today and the children are now going round the school encouraging other pupils to try the lettuce and radishes.”
Rachel Brock, Acting Head, The Mill Primary School, Crawley
Mini Fruit and Vegetable Stalls
Through the IMPACT Tasty Team project we encourage participating schools to establish weekly mini fruit and vegetable stalls. Manned by volunteers, the stalls are able to sell produce, which is sourced from a local fruit and vegetables wholesaler, at cost price. This means that top quality produce is sold at prices lower than local supermarkets.
By making tasty produce more affordable, the stalls enable parents to include more fruit and vegetables in their families’ daily diet. As well as establishing links between the schools and the wholesalers, the IMPACT Tasty Team also provides electronic scales, banners, money box (with float) and all the other items that are needed for the smooth running of the stall.
Organisations the IMPACT Tasty Team have worked with
We have run parts of the Tasty Team programme with many other organisations including:
- Age UK
- Lifehouse hostels for homeless young mothers
- Children and Family Centres in West Sussex
- West Green Youth Centre, Crawley
- Our Lady Queen of Heaven Pre School, Crawley
- Burgess Hill Town Council
- Mid Sussex District Council
The IMPACT Tasty Team has worked with many primary schools in West Sussex including:
- Downsbrook Middle School, Worthing
- Gattons Infants, Manor Fields and Sheddingdean in Burgess Hill
- Blackwell, East Grinstead
- Heyworth and Northlands Wood in Haywards Heath
- Compton Up Marden and Medmerry near Chichester
- Handcross Primary, Ferring Primary
- The Globe, Lancing
And the following Crawley primary schools:
- Broadfield East Infant and Junior
- Desmond Anderson
- Gossops Green
- Langley Green
- Manor Green
- Our Lady Queen of Heaven
- St Francis of Assisi
- St Margaret’s
- The Mill
- West Green
“Thank you for giving me the confidence to try to cook properly for my children.”
Participant, Get Cooking Course, Sydney West Children and Family Centre, Burgess Hill
Volunteering for the IMPACT Tasty Team
We are always looking to recruit new volunteers for all aspects of the Tasty Team project.
Volunteers can commit as much time as they like, full training is provided for each role and we pay all travelling and out of pocket expenses.
We need volunteers with the following skills:
- An interest in healthy, basic cooking to run Get Cooking sessions
- Enthusiasm to run mini fruit and vegetable stalls in schools
- Green fingers to work with pupils and/or adults to develop and manage their fruit and vegetable patches
All volunteers will be CRB checked.
If you are interested in volunteering or would like further information on our extended community projects please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. You can send us a message using our contact form, call Lucinda or Elisabeth on 01444 457080 or email us at email@example.com for further details.