A taste of our training schemes...

Last Friday Providence Row hosted its first ever ‘Cook, Grow, Eat’ taster session for key workers from other organisations and potential trainees to get a taste of the accredited courses we run here at the centre (that’s a Level 1 in Horticulture and a Level 2 in Food Hygiene). 

The idea was to introduce clients onto our three trainee schemes; Gardening, Bakery and Catering and the taster session featured a bite-size activity of each. The session consisted of three different activities; harvesting delicious organic fruit and veg from our rooftop garden, creating dishes using the produce and finally decorating some of our very own banana breads and brownies. Visiting support workers and their clients left glowing feedback as they left and many signed up to the courses as a result. 

The taster session opened up our doors to local hostel residents and other services in Tower Hamlets, allowing them to network with each other, meet some of our peer mentors who have already completed the programme, ask questions and get involved in fun activities whilst learning about cooking and horticulture at the same time. 

Many enjoyed harvesting in the garden whilst others preferred the task in the kitchen in making Tabbouleh and a Lentil & Avocado salad. There were also a few ‘sweet-toothed’ guests who got stuck in decorating the desserts with edible flowers. 

One of the highlights of the event was observing people new to gardening, picking and eating flowers and salad leaves straight from the garden, something people rarely get to do in the middle of a big City. It was also great to see trainees getting to know each other and testing each other’s knowledge on the subject through the game activity ‘Guess the grain, plants, spices’ – this was certainly a great ice-breaker to start of the day. 

Support Workers also learned more about what’s going on here at Providence Row and how we can work with their clients offering a different environment and personalised experience. Not only did they learn about different ingredients including Sumac (that’s a Turkish salad spice by the way) and take away a recipe or two, but they were introduced to an innovative way of working with people who are experiencing multiple challenges –all through the idea of growing, cooking and eating!