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.

These are some examples of good feedback.

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

Question 5:

How would you recommend the course?

Give it a try – it was perfect for me! My 7 year old daughter helped in the kitchen and was able to read the method and follow so it gave us some good family time. The instructions are clear to follow and the recipes are easy, plus the videos were helpful. It was nice to include vegetables, even ones we thought we didn’t like – such as celery, which I actually loved! And I don’t usually like mushrooms but I really enjoyed the last dish. The timing of the course was helpful as you don’t have to do all the dishes in a few days, you can space it out to fit in with what is going on.

Question 6 asks for further comments.

The course showed me how to cook a meal from scratch for my family and friends, I feel much more confident cooking from scratch – where I was not sure I could cook all the recipes from scratch. The video is helpful and reading the recipe was a good idea. I will be cooking more now. I will be cutting back on fast food and restaurant food – and plan my grocery shopping and set myself a food budget. This cooking course has pushed me in the right way. I will freeze my leftovers or eat them the next day instead of wasting them or throwing them out.

I have some friends + family who are struggling to get by and some are on benefits, I will tell them about this course – it will help them. My favourite recipe was the mushroom pilaff and I will be making it again and will add some different vegetables to it eg broccoli or peas. One of the best tips for me was having the recipes printed out – I read them all. It was helpful having the video to watch, but I like to read so was happy when I saw them printed out and in the bag. I made some of my own notes too.

Changes that I am making include comparing prices of ingredients before I make the purchase of any ingredients and keep to a budget. I will be making a shopping list + sticking to it so that I am not tempted to buy what I do not need. I would like to try new herbs + spices in my cooking, but not buy all at once then let jars sit in my cupboard – I will try something new every month and see how I like it.

The delivery of the bag of ingredients to my house was the best thing I enjoyed about the course – the free ingredients made me happy to try the course and some new cooking styles. I would like to do this course once a week and try a new recipe each time. It was good fun and most enjoyable.

The next section asks for your comments as a mentor on this student; a good example is below.

Mentor comments

This student tried hard to keep motivated and take part, the 3 meals sounded possible for her to cook over the 2 weeks but she was not sure. I wanted her to take part so that she could share some time and skills with her son who has autism. They both depend heavily on convenience foods, but sometimes she will venture into the kitchen and make something – often using a prepared sauce or to heat up something frozen or pre- cooked. She was fed up of boring meal times so this course sounded exciting to her.

She took longer to complete the course but I kept in contact with her and motivating her – she would always respond and wanted to complete the 3 recipes. She was happy to have discovered the chana masala recipe and will be making that from scratch – I have encouraged her to try adding a different vegetable/s each time she makes it so she can build on the recipes she has learnt. The tomato pasta sauce recipe was also a hit and she had only ever used a jar sauce, so when she had made this recipe from scratch she could not believe the flavour and with just a few ingredients.

She is making a few changes to her grocery shopping and adding tins of chick peas and tomato tins to her staples, she said on days where she cannot get out or does not want to leave her home she knows that she has some things in the cupboard which will allow her to still cook something tasty to eat and not grab something that is not healthy for her. The brown rice was new to her taste buds and whilst it tasted very different than white rice, she said she will make it again – soaking it for a bit longer helped it cook quicker, then she got on with the rest of the recipe later on in the day. She was glad to have completed the course and I am glad she is making changes for herself and her son.