Social enterprise company launches work experience initiative

A social enterprise company that runs free healthy cooking courses in the area is offering work experience opportunities to the unemployed.

Tuesday, 27th September 2016, 4:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 2:02 pm
Health Champions director Karen Dennison with Stacey Hardman, right, who is the first to benefit from the new opportunity

Health Champions Training, which operates across Chichester, Worthing and Adur, launched the initiative this month for people who want to learn new skills through volunteering to help them get back to work.

Stacey Hardman, 28, of Flatt Road, Nutbourne, is the first person to benefit. She had to give up her job as a care assistant after developing arthritis and fibromyalgia.

She attended a six-week Cooking with Confidence course and now wants to learn how to lead a course.

“My arthritis meant that I just couldn’t do my carer job any longer as I couldn’t lift and I am hoping to get another job soon,” she explained.

“I really enjoyed the cooking course I attended, so when I heard Health Champions were offering volunteer work experience opportunities I jumped at the chance.

“It will help get me back into work, I’m sure, and it’s a great initiative for local people who are trying to get back to work or to learn new skills.”

The courses are for people who need a confidence boost in the kitchen. They offer hands-on help to create easy, low-cost and healthy meals, with free ingredients and tasty recipes.

Director Karen Dennison said: “The Cook and Eat courses we deliver through Health Champions are not just about teaching people to cook and build confidence in the kitchen, they are also about supporting people to gain valuable skills that might help them in their personal or work life or returning to employment.

“When people come on our courses they often get inspired to help others and come back as peer cookery leaders, which is a fantastic mentoring opportunity.

“We now also provide work experience through shadowing a cookery leader which helps build wider skills such as planning, organisation, time management and communication - all things that employers look for.

“We are delighted to be helping Stacey in her journey and even if cooking isn’t what she ends up doing, she will have the opportunity to experience a range of skills that will no doubt help her to prepare her for employment in the future.”

Call 07747 017372 or email [email protected] for more information.

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