The search is on for more cooking enthusiasts to share their passion, knowledge and skills as part of NHS Norfolk’s Joy of Food programme.

The Joy of Food is a not-for-profit NHS Norfolk project dedicated to providing instruction in cooking healthy, easy to prepare food on a budget to anyone.

Its trainers help to inspire others, while providing practical support and advice on easier ways to eat a more varied and balanced diet.

Cookery courses currently take place regularly across the county, and show participants how to use a range of ingredients and techniques.

Now more volunteer trainers are needed in Norfolk – particularly across the west of the county. Each trainer will be asked to commit to at least one 3-4 hour session a week.

The role is open to anyone, including chefs, school cooks and dieticians, as well as keen amateurs.

The only qualification needed from potential trainers is a real passion for food and a love of cooking. The trainers will be asked to teach small groups in community settings, such as children’s centres, village halls and pub kitchens.

Nick Buck, manager of The Joy of Food project, said: “We want to recruit people who have a good knowledge of cooking, and who are happy to stand in front of a group of people and pass on their skills.

“They need to be enthusiastic about cooking and keen to inspire other people too.”

Nick joined The Joy of Food as a volunteer two years ago and has taught various groups of people

“I thoroughly enjoy it. It has been really rewarding” he said.

“Most people, if they can follow a recipe and if they have the enthusiasm to make a difference, can do this.”

There are plans for more specialised Joy of Food workshops to supplement the basic courses which are currently running. These are likely to include bread making as well as fish, chicken, and vegetarian, cookery. A workshop showing how to cook on a budget is also planned.

Joy of Food trainers also receive training themselves – on food safety, nutrition, and presentation skills, before taking their first workshop.

Lucy Macleod, a Consultant in Public Health at NHS Norfolk, said: “Eating well plays such an important role in preventing ill health.

“The Joy of Food is committed not only to passing on knowledge about cooking, but the skills, confidence and enjoyment which go with preparing nourishing, cheap meals.

“The programme makes a real difference to a range of people who for whatever reason have never prepared their own food and enjoyed it as part of a family mealtime. The enthusiasm of the trainers and the inspiration they provide can literally change lives.”

Anyone interested in becoming a Joy of Food trainer can email [email protected] or call 01603 257219 for an information pack.


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