Hartlepool cafe hosting free cookery classes after learning some people spend £120 a week on takeaway apps
A community cafe is to help families to rustle up tasty meals after discovering some are spending more than £100 a week on takeaways.
LilyAnne’s Coffee Bar, in Victoria Road, Hartlepool is teaming up with a number of local guest chefs for the new series of free weekly cookery classes.
Starting on Monday, August 2, each week they will teach people how to cook a delicious yet healthy meal for under a tenner and be given a bag of ingredients to try it themselves at home.
LilyAnne’s, a community interest company which runs a number of initiatives to address various social issues, has been awarded just under £4,000 by the Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation for the project.
LilyAnne’s co-owner Trevor Sherwood said: “During lockdown we learned that a lot of people were reliant on takeaways.
"They were getting into debt because they simply didn’t know how to cook basic meals.
"From speaking to about 100 people we found on average they spent £120 a week on takeaway apps. And everyone knew someone they were cooking for or providing meals to to help make sure they were being properly fed during the pandemic.
"It showed there was a need where we could offer some local cookery classes to see whether people would come forward.”
People’s lack of basic cooking skills was also highlighted when LilyAnne’s gave out food hampers to people isolated or in need during the lockdowns and the contents such as pasta remained unopened.
A number of cooks, including professional chefs from Hartlepool restaurants, are supporting the initiative and will lead some of the classes.
Those confirmed so far include LilyAnne’s head cook Rob Wilson, Amr Ryan-Galal, from Matteo’s, in Seaton Carew, and Councillor Paddy Brown.
“We’ve picked some people with good personalities so we will have a laugh,” said Trevor.
He added as well as teaching people a valuable life skill that the classes will also help participants save money.
He said: “You can probably buy a month’s worth of shopping for what some spend in a week online.”
Places for the courses, which run until Monday, September 6, are filling up fast, but there are still some available.
While free, you must book online at lilyannes.co.uk