Bid to get older men cooking

An older persons’ charity is helping to fund a local culinary campaign to get kitchen-shy men cooking.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 8:21 am

Wetherby in Support of the Elderly (WiSE) is working with Wetherby Man with a Pan (MWAP) to appeal for men over 50 to sign up for the scheme after agreeing to fund two courses starting from next year.

The Wetherby Man with a Pan programme sees experienced cook, Lesley Titchmarsh deliver kitchen training to men who lack basic cooking skills - boosting their physical, social and mental wellbeing at the same time.

Jennifer Siswick, Volunteer Coordinator for Wetherby MWAP, said: “National research has revealed a huge skills deficit amongst men over 50, with many lacking the basic knowledge needed to cook cheap, healthy meals from scratch.

“Often these men simply haven’t picked up cooking knowledge, either for cultural or education reasons.

“In other cases people have suddenly found themselves having to cook for themselves - perhaps because they are widowers, unexpected carers or now live alone.”

Man With A Pan is inspired by a similar scheme piloted in Kent in 2014, which was hailed for the impact it had on the lives of its participants.

The six week courses, which are each four hours long - and funded by WiSE, along with other local agencies - are completely free with all ingredients, equipment and utensils provided.

Mark Dobson, Chief Operating Officer at WiSE, said: “We are pleased to fund these two courses.

“Not only will they give participants the tools necessary to cook for themselves, they will also boost confidence, self-esteem and social contact, which fits with our ethos.”

The first four-hour sessions at St James Church, The Parish Centre, start in February 2022, with six places available on each course. A further six session course will follow in September 2022.

Wetherby in Support of the Elderly (WiSE) is a registered charity part funded by Leeds City Council (LCC). It aims to improve quality of life for the over 60s by providing activities.

For more information or to sign up, contact St. James Parish Office on 01937 583074.