Boys and girls are happily chopping onions at a South Wales community centre, making lunch for dozens of their peers.

It’s a project run by Steps4Change in Butetown Cardiff, and exactly the kind of voluntary group that could benefit from the Our Communities Together Appeal.

The simple cooking skills they learn can not only help them and their families now but also give them important life skills for the future.

The cost-of-living crisis has not only impacted on individuals and families in Wales but also on voluntary sector organisations who are seeing significant increases in operating costs.

With charities and organisations struggling to continue their services as normal, the Community Foundation Wales partnered with Newsquest to launch the Our Communities Together appeal.

The appeal will award grants to organisations like Steps4Change, which can help people through the cost of living crisis now and in the months ahead.

South Wales Argus: The South Wales Argus Our Communities Together appeal logoThe South Wales Argus Our Communities Together appeal logo (Image: Newsquest)

Today the Welsh Government announced a £1 million donation to the appeal

Steps4Change is a non profit voluntary community organisation set up to help break negative cycles of those within disadvantaged and marginalised communities.

The classes are run at the Butetown Pavilion community hub in Dumballs road. The location offers a safe space for the children of local families to cook and enjoy food together and get involved in activities such as football and baskeball.

South Wales Argus: Tony Ogunsulire, Director of Steps4Change, at the Butetown Pavilion, Cardiff.Tony Ogunsulire, Director of Steps4Change, at the Butetown Pavilion, Cardiff. (Image: Michael Williams)

Tony Ogunsulire is a chef and director at the charity, who leads the cooking classes. He says the cost of living crisis has hit the group and the local area significantly.

“The majority of the clients we deal with have had the cost of food go up, the cost of bills go up and ultimately it’s affected the way they live. Parents are working all the time to try and afford food and so they don’t always have the time to cook nutritious meals,” he said.

“So we’re teaching the youngsters how to fend for themselves, using food donations to develop some life skills, but most importantly helping children support their parents in making decent meals - and they love it!”

At the centre, volunteers spend their time teaching the children important life skills such as cooking. When we visited, children from local areas were coming together to cook chicken wraps for them and their peers to enjoy.

The children spent time with Tony being instructed on how to cut mushrooms, lettuce and a variety of other ingredigents that they could then cook at home. 

South Wales Argus: Rana Ammar learns cooking skills with Steps4Change.Rana Ammar learns cooking skills with Steps4Change. (Image: Michael Williams)

Tony explained that shops including Tesco, Asda and the charity Fair Share have supported the centre with food donations, which the children learn to turn into healthy meals which they can eat and take home to their families.

11-year-old Rana Ammar is just one of the children who attends Steps4Change.

“I like coming here to cook foods with everyone and then I can go and practice making things at home too,” she said.