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Health & Wellbeing

Food for Life

The Food for Life programme supports people to improve their physical and mental health by building a better relationship with food.

Book your place on our 2019 Cook and Eat courses: 020 7033 8529
Book your place on our 2019 Cook and Eat courses: 020 7033 8529

At Food for Life, we believe that good food is essential to leading a healthy and happy life. By 'good food', we mean healthy, wholesome and flavoursome food, which we think is integral to who we are, where we’re from and how we relate to each other!

We also believe that there’s more to healthy eating than carefully counting the calories, watching what you eat and worrying about how to resist temptation. The best way to achieve a healthy diet is to find the joy in making something from scratch, preparing and enjoying food with others (be they friends, family or even complete strangers!) and discovering new and interesting flavours.

We are particularly dedicated to tackling the issue of child and adult obesity in Hackney by delivering hands-on healthy eating and cooking activities. These courses are a fun, informal way to learn more about healthy eating and cooking, and gain confidence in the kitchen.

Our approach is simple:
• All of our recipes are based on accessible, affordable and seasonal ingredients
• We encourage a balanced diet, which means variety - and the occasional treat too!
• We favour natural flavours above all else - meaning plenty of fresh ingredients, herbs and spices
• We avoid all things processed and use whole grains wherever we can
• Many of our recipes are adapted from trusty favourites – with neat tips on how to make them healthier.

We love sharing what we know with our groups, whilst also learning more from them. No matter where they are from, or how much kitchen experience they have, there’s always something for participants to learn and contribute. In everything we do we aim to find this knowledge and share it, getting everyone involved from the word ‘go’!

Click here to see an evaluation of the programme by the Centre for Social Justice and Change, School of Social Sciences, University of East London.

FREE Cookery Courses

We have plenty of Cook and Eat courses taking place across Hackney and they're all completely FREE. Come and join us in your local area!
FFL Q4 2021

Banister House Community Hall in Homerton, Stamford Hill Community Centre, New Kingshold Community Centre  near Hackney Central and Fellows Court Community Hall in Hoxton!

To find out about our next set of courses and book a place, contact us: ¦ 020 7033 8529.

Family Cooking:
The perfect activity for parents and children who would like to prepare, cook and eat tasty, healthy dishes together.

Children must be over the age of 5 and accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Adults only:
Ever wondered how chefs make your favourite international dishes? Here's your chance to find out!

This course is open to Hackney residents over the age of 16 and booking is compulsory.

We work with people of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels. Whether it’s pre-school children; young people at risk of homelessness; adults recovering from poor mental health; or pensioners at risk of isolation, the Food for Life team is highly skilled in developing an approach to fit.

The core activities that we deliver include:
Cook and Eat: Two to three hour session where participants prepare, cook and eat a meal together under the watchful eye of our expert facilitators. One-off classes can be delivered, however courses of four to six weeks will help individuals gain more knowledge, skills and confidence in the kitchen.
Demonstrations and workshops: 30 to 60 minute sessions, using interactive and informative techniques to introduce key topics, recipes and advice.
Teambuilding workshops through the Waterhouse Cookery School: Bespoke sessions designed to meet the needs and interests of the client, helping to promote teamwork, communication and learning.

In recent years we've delivered a range of programmes in collaboration with a host of partners including:

A large number of Children's Centres (including Thomas Fairchild, Morningside, Comet, Gainsborough, Wentworth, Daubeney, Millfields & Minik Kardes)
City & Hackney Mind
Family Action
Hackney Council
Hackney Playbus
Hammerson plc.
Many Hackney Schools (including Clapton Girls' Academy, Grazebrook, Jubilee, Lauriston, New Regents College, St John the Baptist, St Matthias, Shacklewell and William Patten)
Sanctuary Housing
St Mary’s Secret Garden
St. Giles Trust
The Big House Theatre Company
The City of London
The Golden Co
The Peter Bedford Housing Association
The Scout Association

Our work wouldn’t be possible without the valuable assistance of our sessional workers and volunteers, talented food and nutrition professionals and community engagers who support us in the delivery of sessions across the borough:

Ayanna Mwa ¦ Vanessa Austin ¦ Esther Mark ¦ Elodie Vincendeau ¦ Paula Alberti ¦ Mary Connolly ¦ Rasha Tellisi ¦ Lorraine Gannon.

Meet the team
Jane Hunter
Jane Hunter
Food for Life Delivery Coordinator
Katie  Edmondson
Katie Edmondson
Food for Life Project Manager
Olivia  Woodward
Olivia Woodward
Food for Life Assistant Project Manager
Join Our Community

Book onto a Cook and Eat Course:
Contact us:
020 7033 8529.

Volunteer or become a Sessional Worker:
We provide training and support to everyone that works with us, enabling workers to gain additional skills and experience during their time with us. Find out more about positions available on our Jobs page.

Enquire about Waterhouse Cookery School:
Contact Katie Edmondson:
020 7033 8505.

Find out more about one-off events and workshops:
Contact Olivia Woodward:
020 7033 8529.