As always, food brings people together, joining families and friends around the table and allowing for the sharing of experiences. The Friday Afternoon Cook-a-long at The Foundry by SYC is an activity that has been running since 2021 to engage with young people and help them discover the positive wellbeing that can result from healthy nutrition. 

Over the past six weeks, two-hour sessions have been conducted with the resident nutritionist, Amanda Kelly. Amanda guided young people through the process of cooking some delicious and nutritious meals in The Foundry’s fully equipped and accessible kitchen. One of the key outcomes of the project is to show participants that healthy meals can be created even with a small number of ingredients, with the classes based purely on the goods delivered by OzHarvest during that week. At the end of each two-hour session, the participants take the prepared meals to enjoy on the weekend and receive a copy of the associated recipe so they can create the same dish again by themselves.

Up until now, I have only been able to make spaghetti Bolognese. After those classes, I feel confident to cook new recipes. I am going to try to make it over the weekend.

Class Participant, Friday Cook-a-long

An Apple Crumble Turns into Great Opportunities 

Ashley* has been struggling to get a job for some time, leading her to feel anxious and depressed. She saw The Foundry advertising the cooking class on Facebook and thought it would be an excellent opportunity to feel better and learn new skills. 

Apple Crumble made during the class

While Ash smelled the delicious aroma of homemade apple crumble coming to life in her first class, she opened up with The Foundry staff and talked about her challenges and how they impact her. The following week, Ash was invited to a one-on-one counselling session to discuss some issues she was facing and her goals. 

During this session, Ash was able to learn that The Foundry is a place to connect with a wide range of services, including employment support. We are pleased to say that Ash is now about to start a new job, and she still visits The Foundry every week to maintain social engagement with people of the same age and grab some OzHarvest’s goods. *Name changed for privacy.

The Foundry hosts a range of activities that often act as a ‘magnet’ for young people to find their way into The Foundry and help build a relationship with our youth workers. Learning how to cook their favourite dish, be creative with different ingredients, or get a hot meal have been significant assets for the young people accessing our services.

Johannes Scheiber, Manager of Youth Services (The Foundry)

Partnerships that Make the Difference 

The success of The Foundry’s cooking and nutrition classes would not have been possible without SYC’s sponsors, who have partnered with us in our Employment Programs. On behalf of the project’s participants, we extend our thanks to Zancott RecruitmentAsset Personnel RecruitmentLima One Protection Group, and SK Distribution for your ongoing support. 

Know a young person who would like to attend these classes? Please contact The Foundry on (08) 8405 8540.