Pennant Walters fund Cooking Masterclass
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Families come together for a cooking masterclass at Ogmore Vale School.

More than 320 Ogmore Vale primary school pupils and their families have had the opportunity to take part in practical cookery sessions as part of a drive to encourage healthy eating.

Over a three-month period, the Ogmore Vale Primary School pupils, and their families, have participated in sessions where they’ve learnt about healthy eating whilst working together to prepare simple, healthy, economical and age-appropriate dishes.

The sessions were led by Cooking Together Wales and were made possible after Pennant Walters provided £2,500 from a fund linked to the construction of the new, but standalone, Pant y Wal Wind Extension Farm, adjacent to Ogwr Valley.

Maria Balchin, Family Engagement Officer at Ogmore Vale Primary School, explains the need:

“We’d previously run a similar initiative which saw us target specific groups to educate them on the benefits and simplicity of cooking healthy family meals that don’t cost a great deal and, due to its success, we had ambitions of rolling this out school-wide.

“Unfortunately, this was unsustainable, so we approached Pennant Walters for their support.

“We were delighted to receive this funding as we know what a positive impact this will make to our pupils and their families – both now and long into the future.”

Cooking Together Wales, which qualified food technology teachers run with a wealth of experience and a passion for teaching nutrition and cooking skills, will deliver the sessions at Ogmore Vale Primary over the course of ten days.

The sessions kicked off with year 6 pupils and their families taking part. One parent to benefit was Sally Pope, mum to year 6 pupil, Megan, who said:

“The lesson opened my eyes to how easy it is to cook things for the family that are both healthy, quick, and cheap. I’m often scared of cooking, but this gave simple tips that I’ll definitely be putting to good use. It was really nice to be able to do this with my daughter. I think it will really help us as a family and we’ll actually look forward to cooking together.”

Dale Hart, Pennant Walters Managing Director, added:

“This is a fantastic example of how our funding benefits communities long into the future. It’s wonderful that so many children and their families will access vital information in a practical, fun way. We hope that everyone will take the lessons learnt to create positive healthy eating habits.

“Our wind energy project community fund exists to make a difference to the local communities in which we work and we’re happy this money benefits so many people directly. Well done to Ogmore Vale Primary for having the commitment to deliver such a wide-reaching programme.”

During the sessions, Cook Together teachers cover a variety of topics including:

i) basic food preparation skills (knife skills, rubbing in method, bread making etc)

ii) basic healthy eating and nutrition messages

iii) recipe adaption and preparation of healthy meals

iv) meal planning and budgeting

v) basic food hygiene messages

vi) developing literacy and numeracy skills

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