Young people cooking up a storm at the Leeds Ministry of Food (3 Oct 2016)

Young people who are at risk of offending or have other vulnerabilities are receiving skills for life as part of a cooking at healthy eating course at Jamie's Ministry of Food at Leeds Kirkgate Market.

The project is being run by Leeds City Council's youth service thanks to funding received from the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner's 'Safer Communities Fund'. It is for young people aged 13-17, who are either involved in or at risk of engaging in criminal activity or anti-social behaviour; are not in education, employment or training; are vulnerable or at risk of being exploited.

The course aims to develop life-long skills through cooking whilst the qualified youth workers are able to build positive relationships with the young people to help address any issues they may have and support them through targeted youth work.

During the project they will learn how to cook a number of versatile family favourite meals including fajitas, stir fry, chilli con Carne which can be cooked and feed a family on a budget.

By completing the project the young people will receive accreditation through the Leeds Youth Award and gain the skills to support them and their families now and in the future.

Mark Burns-Williamson said "The Safer Communities Fund was designed to fund projects just like 'Grubs up' that are making a real difference locally. The fund is financed through money recovered from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act and its poetic justice to see it re-invested into our communities. The next round of the fund opens for applications on 12th December and I would encourage anyone interested in applying to visit my website for more details."

The council's Youth Improvement Team, who are leading the 'Grubs Up' course also deliver street based city centre youth work until 10:30pm Tuesday to Saturday as well as specialist youth provision for LGBT young people. The team also provide bespoke targeted group work programmes for vulnerable young people and Youth Engagement sessions helping young people have their say on issues important to them. As well as this the team also works with young people who have who have been reported missing to the Police to carry out the return interviews, to determine if they need any support to make sure it doesn't happen again.

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