All profit made at Leeds Cookery School is given to local charity Zest, and we want to share some of the fantastic work they are doing across the city. This is why your support means so much and especially now with Zest suffering a reduction in fundraising due to COVID-19. So here's just a glimpse of what Zest are doing in Leeds, as told by the people they're helping.
- 'I believe the men's group at the LS14 Trust could well have saved my life. At the beginning of this year, quite a few things happened to me. I see myself as a strong person, but a number of situations coupled with my long term loneliness, brought me to breaking point. I was in the LS14 Trust, looking for someone to countersign my passport photos, I was then asked a question by someone there. "Are you here for the men's group?". So far, life's been getting better. The group gives me an excuse to socialise and a buffer for bumps in the road. For the first time in a long time, I'm breathing.'
- 'To say that this has not been a very good year for me would be a slight understatement. I'm still not really used to being around people again, or even being out of the flat much. But volunteering with the Ministry of Food sessions has made a massive difference in just a few weeks. I've noticed it, but so have my parents and I tend to trust their judgment more than my own! I've actually felt useful and part of something for the first time in months... I'm now looking at next year very differently to how I was, which is a surprise twist I never saw coming.'
- 'I was new to the area and had never talked to any of the other parents from the school. I think people sometimes didn’t talk to me because of my head scarf, I just wanted to meet new people. As soon as I started coming to the group I felt better. Sometimes I think if this group stopped I would probably go back to isolating myself. I look forward to this place every week. Monday and Tuesday, I didn’t leave the house between dropping off and picking up my daughter from school, but today I came here.'
- 'I've been coming to the Cross Green Men's Group for 2 years, it is a lifeline to me. We play dominoes & darts, create things, go on walks and visit places. It's the small things. It's taken me from being in my bedroom every day. It gets me out, gets my brain active & gives me something to look forward to. I like the company. I feel empty at home but I feel wanted here.'
- 'Doing the Ministry of Food Course has opened a lot of doors for me. It has given me the know-how of cooking and lots of pleasure. I used to cook very occasionally and now I cook every day for me and my wife.'
Find out more about Zest and their important work here https://zestleeds.org.uk/