Cook & Eat 2015/16 – here’s how you & your life group can get involved…

So on Friday we’ll be meeting again with reps from Kingston’s Public Health & Leaving Care teams to plan the year ahead for Everyday Kingston’s Cook & Eat courses. Since we launched the course in February 2014 we’ve served three very different groups of care leavers: the first group, unaccompanied minors (i.e. young asylum seekers fleeing trauma and persecution in their own countries) introduced us to Cook & Eat as a model and taught us the privilege of this type of partnership.  Since then we’ve gone on to run a course for young mums who are themselves leaving the care system and, most recently, we took the course out to a supported unit for young people in New Malden.

So far we’ve run Cook & Eat with a small but dedicated team but we’re looking to run the next 3 courses (Autumn 2015 through to summer 2016) through our life group system. Life Group leaders – we need just three groups to run these three courses so make sure you don’t miss out on an incredible opportunity to make a difference and to do some on-the-job discipleship. Let me briefly explain, firstly why you should absolutely leap at this opportunity and secondly exactly what running a course would mean for you and your group.

Why should we do this? 
Simply put – because it’s awesome! But don’t take my word for it, here are some of the key benefits:

  • Meet new Kingston people: we’ve met some incredible young people through cook & eat, some of whom you may since have met in our Sunday meetings. We’ve also developed a great relationship with the managers and staff in Public Health and the Leaving Care team. These are golden opportunities to be salt & light within the Borough. 
  • Lasting fruit: we’ve had wonderful opportunities to share (gently) about our faith in Jesus with the result that numbers of young people, and recently even workers and a manager from the supported living unit, have visited us on a Sunday morning. We now have a wonderful member at Everyday Kingston who was baptised earlier this year but was first brought to our Sunday meeting by two of the (not yet Christian!) girls from the most recent course we ran. 
  • Make a difference: Shaira, the manager of the Leaving Care team, shared our report and feedback from the Everyday Cook & Eat experience with Ofsted, helping Kingston to become only the 2nd London borough to receive a good rating. In addition, every course we’ve run has resulted in participants learning to make much better decisions around their diet and general health. 
How will it work? 
Easy – just as Jesus both taught, demonstrated and ultimately sent out his disciples so we’ll teach, demonstrate and send out our people to do this! Practically this means that:
  • One life group will adopt one of the three 6-week courses: as a group you’ll commit to praying for the course and you will release 2 LG members for the duration of the course. These two will deliver the course each week with the possibility of a third ‘visitor’ from your LG also taking part each week. This means that, should you want this, up to 8 members of your group could practically take part while only two members are needed to deliver the course in its entirety. This means its relatively easy to deliver but the benefits are potentially huge! 
  • All training will be provided: a trainer from Public Health will provide some more formal training but original team members will also be able to offer support and oversight as the course rolls on. 
  • Each session involves cooking and eating (who’d’ve thought?!?): cooking experience and expertise are definitely not essential, but they can help. The young people are expected to arrive ready to prepare and cook a meal under the course leader’s supervision.  The meals gently reflect the week’s topic and there are prompt questions to help the leader get some discussion going… 

Any questions? Just mail Akhtar – we want to get three committed Life Groups by the end of September at the latest, so please chat to your key people over the summer and let us know you’re interested!  

Akhtar Shah

Leadership, Social Action, Evangelism.