Bags of Taste has extensive experience in working with a range of specialist cohorts. These include
- Diabetes/Diabetes Prevention
- Care Leavers
- People with learning difficulties
- People with disabilities
- People in recovery from addiction
- Ex Offenders
We have been commissioned by the DPP in specific areas to work with participants on low incomes that find following the dietary guidance challenging due to their personal circumstances. Our outcomes on this work have been very good.
Leaving care is a point at which many young people find they have to fend for themselves and can end up in bad food habits. Equipping young people with the skills, and in particular, motivation, to cook for themselves rather than becoming reliant on takeaways and ready meals is vital at this critical time in their lives.
This interview from the BBC is with participant Sarah, who talks about learning from Bags of Taste after her years in care failed to equip her with the skills she needed:
People with learning difficulties
We have had referrals from Mencap for many years, which has helped us to redesign our course materials into a more accessible format, but more recently we have run very successful mentored courses which engage with both the individual and their carers. The ability for the person to cook at home in a familiar environment, with someone they have an existing relationship with, seems to be a winning combination. Our mentors work with the carer to support the participant, and the videos provide an engaging access point for the participant to engage and fuel their enthusiasm. Participants who struggle with conditions such as dyslexia also find the multiple ways to engage (videos, illustrations, phone, WhatsApp, and well designed written materials) have helped them to access the course in a more inclusive manner.
People with disabilities
Our work with participants with long term debilitating conditions such as fibromyalgia, stroke and ME has led us to develop specialist resources in this area for participants and mentors alike. These conditions interfere with a participants’ ability to cook in multiple ways; there are physical limitations such as ability to hold a knife or stand for long, and also temporal limitations – what might be physically possible one day may not be the next. Participants find that our practical strategies, such as advice on specialist equipment, are very useful, but also the flexibility that the mentored course affords them to cook when they are feeling well, and rest when not, is really helpful. With these participants we focus on cooking on good days and freezing ahead for bad days.
People in recovery from addiction
We have worked with this cohort since our earliest days and have lengthy experience in this area, having been commissioned for several specialist courses, some on site in Recovery Colleges. Participants need often 1:1 mentoring and we are able to provide that.
This is a video of one of our participants of our physical courses, Ken, talking about his experience
And this short documentary from the BBC features a participant in recovery on one of our classes.
Our nationwide partnership with NACRO has been highly successful with many participants also requiring 1:1 mentoring and support in order to make good progress.