Big Lottery helps families cook up a storm with monthly classes for healthy meals

South Tyneside Healthy Choices cooking competition judged by Carl Ferguson.
South Tyneside Healthy Choices cooking competition judged by Carl Ferguson.

Families are now cooking up healthier meals in the kitchen - thanks to Big Lottery funding.

South Tyneside Healthy Choices launched a series of classes helping people to create culinary dishes to positively benefit their lifestyles.

The sessions which took place at South Tyneside College ended with a cooking competition - which saw youngsters getting in on the act and showcasing their chef skills.

The event was organised by Julie Stephenson, who said: “Thanks to the Big Lottery, we were able to run monthly cooking classes at the college for the past year.

“When it come to the end of the funding, we decided to host a healthy cooking competition so they could put what they have learned into practice.

“It was only based around the adults, but because of childcare issues, some of them brought their children along - so we thought we would let them help out and take part too. Everyone really enjoyed it and it was all a bit of fun.”

Unfortunately, the lottery funding has come to an end, but I am hoping to find other funding in the near future.

Julie Stephenson

The competition was judged and overseen by Carl Ferguson who manages the Grey Hen in South Shields.

South Tyneside Lifestyle Choices was launched following the death of Julie’s uncle from the effects of being obese.

It aims to provide free advice and support to the people of South Tyneside to make good lifestyle choices in order to maintain a healthy weight for life.

Julie added: “I really wanted to do something around obesity and supporting people to make more healthier lifestyle choices.

“There’s lots of groups out there, but if you can’t afford to attend, then what?

“Some of the people who have come to the cooking classes have gone on to lose weight, which is why we also started a weight loss class on a Saturday.

“Unfortunately, the lottery funding has come to an end, but I am hoping to find other funding in the near future.”

As part of South Tyneside Healthy Choices, Julie is currently working on project for young people and would incorporate sport.

She is currently awaiting decisions on funding applications in order to get her idea off the ground.

In the meantime, she is on the lookout for any sports coaches or clubs who would be interested in taking part in delivering activities to disadvantaged youngsters - subject to funding.

For more details on South Tyneside Healthy Choices or to register an interest in finding out more about the up and coming sports project visit its social media page on Facebook.