cash cooks up a healthy lesson

Children in Bishop Auckland are learning how to prepare healthy meals for themselves and their families thanks to funding from a leading social landlord.

More than 200 youngsters at Cocktonhill Junior School are set to learn all about healthy cooking and nutritional diets thanks to support from County Durham Housing Group.

The school has begun a regular cookery club to help pupils gain essential cooking skills for a healthy diet, and pass on some of the new talents to their parents. The club will also help children understand the importance of fruit and vegetables in a nutritional diet.

Youngsters will even find out how to shop for fresh healthy food locally on a budget and the importance of eating with their family or friends as part of their social life.

It is hoped that the lessons will help to tackle the national trends of increasing childhood obesity and diet-related diseases. The project has been made possible thanks to £500 of ‘group grant’ funding from County Durham Housing Group.

County Durham Housing Group Funding Officer, Damian Pearson, said: “Healthy cooking and eating is a vital life skill, but it’s one that so many young people don’t have the chance to pick up. This cookery club will provide a great chance for children in Bishop Auckland to gain the expertise that will stay with them for the rest of their life.

“This investment in the long-term future of communities is a great example of why our group grant programme was created.”

Emily Stevens, Cocktonhill Junior School Head Teacher said: “’To receive a donation in these circumstances is really vital for our school. The money received has not only meant that we have been able to buy the necessary equipment to run an after school club but it has also ensured that all the produce needed can be available for all the pupils who wish to attend. The ability to prepare simple, fresh, healthy dishes is a vital life skill which we can now offer all of our school community.”

The application process for ‘group grant’ has been kept deliberately simple and funding decisions will be made monthly to ensure local groups are not waiting for lengthy periods to find out if they have been successful.

Full details of the group grant scheme are available at, by calling 0191 349 7777 or emailing

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