Success story – ‘Raising aspirations for Young People in the criminal justice system through Cooking’, London, UK

This project was developed by one of the Community Animateur trainees from Docklands Outreach. Initially working with the local Youth Offending Team and young people, she used lifeworld analysis and action learning workshops to identify young peoples’ key needs. She realised that the young people would not engage through traditional methods but all shared a love of food. Cooking was therefore employed as a vehicle for collaborative action.

She devised a six-week programme of lunch time cooking and eating sessions. These were used to identify young people’s interests, and set future goals for them. These included preparing CV’s, searching for training opportunities, applying for jobs and accessing therapy sessions. The main outcomes of the project were increased networking with local partners, positive relationships built with participating young people, introducing young people to support services, information and ideas sharing with key stakeholders.