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Residents show appetite to improve cooking skills

16 July 2014

Dundee residents are getting the chance to sizzle in the kitchen this summer as part of a £46,000 community benefit package.

Cookery workshops are helping ten Ardler families learn how to prepare several simple, value-for-money meals.

The Ardler Village Trust (AVT) charity arranged the workshops, which are taught by volunteers from Dundee-based social enterprise Transform Community Development (TCD).

David Nicoll, TCD’s Zero Waste Scotland Volunteer programme co-ordinator, said: “We have experience of running cookery workshops and it’s been great fun getting involved with the AVT.

“This week’s class focused on burgers, which the class had great fun making. The results were simple and low-cost meaning no-one went home without eating one.

“For week one, we cooked omelettes which many of the group had never made, and – unfortunately – most of the kids don’t like onion. Thankfully everyone liked their burgers so the children actually ate their creations.”
The two-hour sessions take place at the Chalmers Ardler Church. Four cookery workshops remain before the schools return next month.

The AVT will receive £38,000 from the Scottish Government’s people and communities fund, £6,000 from housing provider Sanctuary Scotland and £750 from the Dundee Partnership to provide services and activities for Ardler residents until April 2015. Dundee City Council made a separate contribution of £500 towards the cost of the cookery project.

Other activities taking place thanks to the funding this summer include sports and games sessions for Ardler’s younger residents. An ICT project is currently being developed to provide computer access and support to local families.

AVT manager Gillian Lochhead, who arranged the activities, said: “The funding from our project partners has helped significantly. Much of what we’re doing for Ardler residents would not have been possible without this support.

“In addition to the summer activities, this money has helped our charity hub in Turnberry Avenue provide a number of benefits to those living locally. Our hub is also a central information point for residents, signposting customers to other agencies and activities in Dundee to help address inequalities and reduce isolation.”

Sanctuary Scotland owns and manages around 900 homes in Ardler.

Sanctuary Scotland director Gordon Laurie said: “We continue to support the Ardler community over and above the provision of social housing. It’s great to see how this community benefit funding is being spent to enhance the lives of local residents.

Minister for Housing and Welfare Margaret Burgess said: “I am delighted to see the range of initiatives being delivered by Ardler Village Trust through Scottish Government investment.

“The cookery workshops and other initiatives such as training and volunteering, after school support and out of school activities for local children, provide fantastic opportunities which benefit everyone in the community. Investing in community-based activities not only improves health and fitness but increases the skills and confidence levels of local people who are struggling to find work.

“This government recognises that community-led regeneration is integral to the success of the design and delivery of local economic and social regeneration initiatives. Delivering local initiatives and empowering communities is the best way of improving the life chances of Scotland’s people.”


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