Multiply sessions in Eyemouth
Our LINKS Eyemouth project has been very fortunate to receive funding from the Multiply Programme, which is a UK Government funded programme, launched as part of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to run a series of courses supporting adult learners to improve their numeracy skills through cooking! So far, we think it has been a recipe for success!
Each adult participating signs up to attend a total of 8 sessions (we are funded to run a total of 3 x 8 sessions over the coming year). We have had referrals from a number of different partners, and some people have chosen to sign up themselves. We began in December, and despite it being a hectic time of year, we were pleased that the same people attended both sessions.
We have been asked, ‘How can you learn numeracy by cooking?’
Well, where can we start? Even in 2 weeks we have included: Following steps in a recipe; counting, measuring, weighing, estimating; addition, subtraction, multiplying, basic fractions, proportions; timing; layering/adjusting quantities; rotating onion 90 degrees to chop; turning up/reducing heat by a certain number ; measuring using thumb etc eg thickness of dough; consistency – how would adding more flour/milk affect it?; calculating the number of chairs/tables/bowls etc required so as you see cooking is fun way to learn and use every day numeracy.
Our participants all have differing abilities, for example visual impairment, restricted mobility or memory issues/neurodivergence or learning disabilities. We have ensured we are providing a safe, inclusive space for everyone. We have modified recipes to make them very visual and easy to read, we have bought a portable oven to avoid trips to the kitchen, we have invested in new peelers and knives following preference.
At each session participants cook two fun recipes; they have choice and have room for creativity and adding their own preferred ingredients. They share equipment, help one another and give each other tips and advice. The LINKS staff and volunteers are on hand to support; we also have support from Scottish Borders Council Community Learning and Development. Already we are seeing people settling into the routine, feeling at home and buddying up to work together, and general banter across the room.
As well as new connections made, we hope people will finish the course with new skills and confidence in cooking at home on their own or with family. Participants will also have the chance to continue to take part in additional LINKS activities, including volunteering. They can also follow up with further numeracy training or qualifications through partners if they choose to.
This project is funded by the UK Government through the Scottish Borders Council Headquarters, Newtown St Boswells, MELROSE, Scottish Borders, TD6 0SA Customer Services: 0300 100 1800 www.scotborders.gov.uk Shared Prosperity Fund.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local businesses, and people and skills. For more information visit UK Shared Prosperity Fund: prospectus – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)