1 July 2024

Residents at Hestia’s mental health support services have created their own cookbook – ‘Mindful Meals’ – inspired by cookery sessions provided at their accommodation. 

Hestia supports people to find safety, hope and purpose on their journey to recovery. At our accommodation-based services, we offer a range of activities to boost confidence and develop skills for independent living, including cookery skills and budgeting.

Many of the residents started with very little cooking skills or knowledge, relying instead on ready meals and takeaways. 

The sessions aimed to reframe cooking from something intimidating to something to be enjoyed. As the sessions went on, some participants became more social with other residents, their confidence increased, and they came up with the idea of creating a cookbook to inspire others.

Mindful Meals is a collection of 15 budget-friendly recipes created by the residents in our mental health support services, showcasing the benefit of cooking on mental and physical wellbeing.

Support Hestia by buying a copy of Mindful Meals

Chris, a Team Leader at Hestia who led the cookery sessions commented:

“Over time, residents became more confident to take part, knowing that there was no expectation on them to be perfect, they just had to be themselves and try. I saw them come out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves. They have shared their favourite recipes to inspire the same confidence in others.

My hope is that the practical life skills that they learnt will travel with them when they move forward into independent living.”

Oliver*, a resident in one of our services said:

“When the cooking sessions were first introduced, I was quite hesitant because I found it overwhelming. But I knew it was a task I had to get involved in. After a few sessions, I developed confidence and am happy to cook and prepare dishes independently. I am now looking forward to living independently.”

Ruby*, another resident in one of our services also said:

“Before the cooking class, I did not have a good routine. I always used to miss breakfast and I was always tired. The cooking sessions and learning how to make breakfast inspired me to take ownership of my day-to-day life. I am able to function better, and I have created more structure in my life.”

Learn more about Hestia’s mental health support

*names have been changed to protect privacy.