By Rosie Kelly – 24 September 2019

Here at Depaul UK we believe that everyone deserves not only a roof over their head but also a stake in their community.

That’s why we invest in a range of services to help the young people we support to develop the practical skills and emotional resilience they need to escape homelessness forever.

An independent charity which delivers sessions for Depaul UK, Eat Club takes a holistic approach to tackling food poverty, modern malnutrition and social inequalities. It aims to empower young people to make healthy and affordable food choices, and to teach culinary principles which will help them to eat well whatever their budget, throughout their lives.

Each Wednesday evening, young people accessing Depaul UK services across London are encouraged to come together to cook and eat a meal together. From spanakopita to hot dogs, attendees have whipped up delicious dishes from all sorts of cuisines.

Endeavour Centre Host Michelle Aldridge who helps to run the club says: “Eat Club offers the young people we work with the chance to learn to cook in a relaxed and easy going environment and to work together on a project. By sitting down to eat together after we cook, we can also help people to develop good social skills. I’d like to think it’s also a lot of fun for everyone who takes part!”

One participant said: “Eat Club is a very cool way of interacting with other young people who share similar interests and also a fun way of testing out certain skills. David [who runs the sessions] has a calm approach towards us and is friendly to talk to, never judges you for making a mistake and is fun to be around.”

Another said: “It’s a great opportunity for young people who can’t afford to have a proper dinner at home or in hostel. Secondly, it helps us to learn how to cook and makes us feel confident about it. There is no ‘I can’t cook’ because with the right directions you can do it! Also, cookery class gives us a chance to try different flavours.

“The most important part is that we all are different, have different stories and some of us come from different countries but with the cookery class there is no a difference. We are same. We cook, we chat and we eat together. It makes me feel like I am with my family.”

Eat Club is just one way that Depaul UK celebrates the potential in the young people we work with, and equips them with the tools they need for a successful life when they leave our services.

Find out more about our other services here

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