I am a 28 year old Community Food Worker based Darvel, East Ayrshire. My job and my passion is to teach people how to grow, cook and eat healthy meals. Growing up, my family saw its fair share of tough times, as did so many other families in my village. The area I grew up in was and still is, considered one of the highest areas of deprivation in East Ayrshire. Were it not for my mother I am sure I really would have felt the impact of the poverty I grew up in. However, the fact is, I never felt poor a day in my life! Everything was batch cooked with no waste whatsoever; fruit and veg were growing in the garden and we raised our own chickens as well as hunting game. There always an abundance of food, and instead of expensive toys my siblings and I were always directed outside to fund pleasure in the joys provided by mother nature. Armed with our imaginations, my siblings and I enjoyed investigating and exploring the outdoors more than any toy could have given us. All of the above, and so much more from my childhood made me who I am today. I know as long as I can grow food then I will never starve and growing up with the outdoors as my playground has made me the inquisitive, imaginative and the hands-on person I am today. With a lot of East Ayrshire falling into the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivations 'red zones' it has never been more apparent that people need help. All too often, we see young people who do not know how to grow produce or cook nutritious meals from scratch; something most of us would consider an essential life skill.
This has been a great success with most children returning excitedly to the next class with their own kitchen tales about making the recipe at home.