YOUNG people in Blaenau Gwent with disabilities have been learning how to improve their quality of life by cooking healthy meals.

The group, part of a disability service run by Barnardo’s Cymru, spent the last few weeks learning kitchen techniques including how to make bread, using knives, weighing and measuring and health and safety, while also developing their social skills.

The end of the project saw the young people put on an event called Come Dine With Us at Wyndham Vowles Centre in Abertillery for their families and guests, where they cooked a three-course meal with the help of home economist Richard Shaw – who runs Cooking Together, a community and school based cooking workshop with an emphasis on healthy eating.

South Wales Argus:

Connor Nicklin and Aaron Nash washing up after hosting their three-course meal


The meal consisted of leek and potato soup, a choice of vegetarian main courses and apple crumble and custard for dessert. All of the group were involved in choosing the menu, preparation, hosting and cleaning up.

Mr Shaw said: “They were a fantastic group to work with and I hope they will all continue to cook the recipes at home with their families in future.”

Barnardo’s Cymru’s Joanne Harper said: “They’ve grown in confidence, learnt how to work in a team, how to regulate their behaviour and have explored new tastes and textures.”

Barnardo’s Cymru’s family support worker Wendy Rutherford said: “I’m so proud of them and the way they worked through everything. For them to be able to invite their families along to something like this has meant so much to them.

“Their families have told us they have seen a real difference in their confidence and seeing them wanting to be front of house and take ownership of the day has been wonderful.”