If it is your first time filling in an end of course form, here are some things that you need to know about the final interview and filling it in.

End forms are one of the most important part of the mentor process. Not all experiences lead to educational outcomes; sometimes people do things once then move on and forget it.

Reflective learning gives the student a chance to reflect on the benefits the course has brought them and their families and think about the value of that, both socially and financially.  This helps them to decide to keep on doing it even without our help, and embeds the behaviour for the long term.  It is also another form of goal setting.

It is really important to phone the student to discuss the course with them and take them through the reflective learning.  It’s a chance to connect properly with them and have a wider ranging conversation than just about recipes & cooking.  You will hear about many more things like the impact on their families, their confidence and the changes they are making to their lives.

Experienced mentors regularly tell us that their favourite bit of mentoring is this final conversation.  This is because they really find out what you don’t often see on the WhatsApp chat – the tangible impact you made to their lives.  It’s surprising the difference a short course and only 3 recipes can make – when you have that conversation you’ll find out for yourself!

You will see how YOU have given this person so much help and support, and understand what an important part you are playing in helping this person benefit from Bags of Taste.  You can also surprise them by how much they can save – another great motivator for continuing with cooking.  Encourage them to put a number on their weekly savings so that you can show them just how much they can save every year.

DO NOT make an appointment to call the person – people are scared of “interviews” and they may secretly expect a telling-off about something they felt they did wrong – but just call them and discuss the course with them! It is not a formal interview but an informal chat with someone you have been helping; they have made a connection with you during two weeks!

You will find it most useful to make notes during the call and fill the form in later, so you can focus on the conversation, not filling in the form.

The end forms are also critical to help us raise further funding – detailed end forms really tell the funders the difference their funding has made, and encourage them to fund more courses.

You may find it easier to ask the questions below and fill in the form after the phone conversation.

Q1. Do you feel more confident or less stressed about preparing food from scratch?
Q2. Do you think you will cook more after this course?
Q3. All the recipes you have learnt cost about 60p per portion (less than £1, if you added meat). Has the course helped you see ways you could reduce the amount you spend on food?
Q4. How much do you think you could save on food bills a week, including takeaways, using Bags of Taste recipes and tips?

Ask them to think about how many takeaways they typically eat a week.
If the answer is a range of amounts then please enter an average – we need ONE number please
Tell them how much their saving will add up to in a year!

Q5. Please tell me what you are proud of doing on this course, and what made it fun or easy?

Encourage the participant to reflect on their goals they set at the start of the programme and if they have achieved them; if they have, this is something to be proud of!

Q6. Is there anything else the participant would like to tell us?

We’re interested in the wider changes they’ve made to their general lifestyle.  Are they eating/cooking with family and friends, how are the family eating or shopping differently, and most particularly what they intend to change going forward – will they keep on cooking?

Q7. Can we contact you again in the future to see how you are getting on?
Q8. How will they engage with us going forward?

Facebook/WhatsApp – you can send them the links in the form

These are some examples of good feedback.

Note that the focus is on what has changed, and their plans for the future.

Question 5:

Please tell me what you are proud of doing on the course, and what made it fun or easy?

I’ve learned a lot of new skills and am more confident cooking from scratch now. The tips like how to chop an onion were really good. I did some home cooking before but I wanted to do more. I learned a lot from the tips and I’ve been doing more cooking since I did the course, so that has worked out. I’ve been cooking the recipes with other spices too. My two older sons help me in the kitchen since I did the course – they say “Shall I stir that, shall I chop that, can I help you?” I really like that they’re eating healthy food now, it keeps them fuller than takeaways do.

Question 6 asks for further comments.

Before I’d spend around £100 a week on takeaways but I’m definitely going to save money now. I shop differently now that I know where I can get different things. So before I’d get everything from Asda and Iceland but since I’ve had the BoT shopping guide and the recipes, I plan to go to different shops depending on where I’m going each day, because I know what I can get more cheaply in other shops. I’d always buy branded stuff before because I know the kids like it and I didn’t want to risk them not eating it if I bought own-brand stuff, because sometimes it’s not as nice. But with the things like chickpeas I know I can buy the own brand versions now and they’ll still taste good when I cook with them in a recipe. That’s been a real eye-opener. I could scale up the recipes too (I have 5 kids) and now each time I cook the recipes I experiment with the spices to make different flavours. I also cook in batches so I have some kept in the fridge ready. I like it that the kids are eating less junk. I’d say to anyone thinking of doing the course that they should definitely do it, that it doesn’t matter if they’re only just learning to cook, they’ll still gain really good knowledge and skills and be able to cook different recipes.

The next section asks for your comments as a mentor on this student; we have given 2 typical examples below.

Mentor comments

Halima didn’t engage much with the group so it was a surprise to hear how much she’d got out of the course. It seems not only to have improved her confidence with cooking, but empowered her with the knowledge to be more of a savvy shopper too, to buy cheaper ingredients than she was used to buying.  She had said that she wanted to save money by doing the course so I’m please that she has achieved this.

If you have been able to pick up on broader details about the participants life and situation, now is the time to mention it – here is another example:

Elly was very enthusiastic about the course and got through the recipes really quickly. She said her household is very fussy eaters and so this is their biggest challenge. She managed to get them involved with the cooking and they liked most of the recipes. Going forward it has taught her to not stray away from adding new things to recipes, and also on food waste. As a night shift worker, being able to prepare meals ahead and store them in the freezer will be really valuable for her. It has also taught on food waste and the different ways you can use leftovers/ spare ingredients to make the meals go a bit further. She also wanted to have access to both the Whatsapp and the Facebook groups! It was great to hear that she was so happy about being chosen for the course, she said normally they are turned away from things like this because her and her partner work so they aren’t eligible.