Six male carers had the opportunity to enhance their cookery skills in April by attending a cookery course held by Vaughans Kitchen Cookery School in Devizes.
Together they prepared a selection of dishes and, at the end of the day, were able to take the food they had made home to share with their families.
The event was held by Carer Support Wiltshire and kindly funded by Carers Trust and Devizes Lions Club.
Male carers are one of the hard-to-reach groups of people that Carer Support Wiltshire are particularly keen to connect with. Research shows that male carers are less likely to seek support for themselves and more likely to suffer with feelings of isolation and loneliness than their female counterparts.
Henry Street is CSW’s Community Fundraising and Events Officer. He said: “We have run cookery classes for male carers previously, both in-person and online over the last year. They are always popular and get fantastic feedback.
“Male carers in particular really welcome the opportunity to improve their cooking skills. This is especially so for those who might have found themselves doing much more cooking than they are used to. It’s a really big task to take on planning nutritious meals, food shopping, preparation and cooking if it’s something you’re not used to doing.
“A carer is often not only looking after a family member who is ill or has a disability, but also taking on the household and maintenance tasks that person is now unable to do.”
Simon Bishop cares for his wife Anna and was one of the attendees. He said: “It was utterly brilliant and I have gained new skills. It’s something I have never done before and I’ll never forget it. As a carer for my wife, it was also something I could come home and share the experience with her.
“It was a really nice thing to be offered to do and to know that people out there understand how much it means to have a break from my caring role.”
Myles Pilling was another carer who attended the course and cooked Mediterranean chicken with olives as well as baking bread and a lemon drizzle cake. His daughter has learning difficulties and he has helped care for her for over 30 years.
He said: “I have a very good wife who cooks, but I need to up my own skills! I can only do things out of the freezer and basic dishes – the course gave me some very useful tips. It was good fun – not so good for the waistline though! My wife and daughter, as well as friends on social media, were impressed with my efforts.”
Carer Support Wiltshire runs many groups, workshops and courses for carers. More information can be found at https://carersupportwiltshire.co.uk/whats-on/