Donate now

Big Lottery funding comes to an end

Three years ago, the Big Lottery Fund agreed to finance our new Eating Positively nutrition and cookery classes.

Since January 2013 their support has allowed us to run 189 classes – that’s more than one class every single week!  We’ve run classes for our own service users as well as for other HIV support groups – maximising the accessibility of our support.  We will continue to run classes until the end of December 2015.

Four hundred and forty seven people have attended one or more class where they have learnt how nutrition interacts with the immune system and HIV medications. In addition to our introductory class we have run sessions focusing on how to:

  • Shop and eat well on a Budget,
  • Keep  your heart healthy,
  • Reduce the risk of diabetes, and
  • Manage symptoms.

When asked for feedback attendees have given the service 4.5 stars out of 5. 88% report that they felt more confident in the kitchen following our sessions, and 92% said that they still use our budgeting tips.

“Thanks to all the staff, I feel a lot more confident in the kitchen now!” - attendee

The classes have appealed to a broad spectrum of people from all ages and back grounds. The majority of attendees have been aged from 25 to 65, represent all London Boroughs and all sexualities.

“If this was any better it would be heaven! Have totally had a blast and wish it could go on, but all good things come to an end.....sadly!” - attendee

To date, some 130 individual volunteers have given over 2,500 hours as teaching cooks, kitchen assistants and nutritionists.  We owe a massive thanks to them too, and hope they enjoyed the experience as much as the service users.

“I love the rush of getting the kitchen ready for service users to arrive, the fun of helping them cook whatever dish we’re working on … but the absolute best part is to see someone complete the series of five classes and the sense of accomplishment they feel.” - volunteer

The Big Lottery Funding will conclude at the end of 2015. Over the winter we will review our recipes and the class content ready for a new series of classes to begin in 2016.  If you know an organisation that would like to fund these incredible nutrition and cookery classes please contact Celine: celine.schwob@foodchain.org.uk