Location: Deal, Kent Sector

Beneficiaries: Local people on low incomes, with disabilities, long term physical and mental health conditions, children, young people, families, long term unemployed, socially isolated people

About Chequers Kitchen
Founded in 2013, Chequers teaches people to cook. Grant-supported cookery classes are free of charge to participants who need to learn to cook with fresh ingredients in order to improve their health or employment prospects. They also provide commercial recreational cookery classes to the general public, private and public dining events, and Team-Building in the Kitchen events for corporates. They operate from a fully equipped teaching kitchen with restaurant in a beautiful converted rural inn on the East Kent coast.

Their mission is to teach people to cook from scratch with fresh ingredients, on a tight budget, so they can access a healthy diet or work-related skills. Grant-funded participants are referred by health practitioners, social support groups, third sector organisations such as Porchlight and Stonham, DWP and others. Some participants self-refer. Chequers participants gain wide ranging cooking skills alongside knowledge of what makes a healthy diet. They also benefit from the social aspect of cooking within a group, particularly valuable for those with mental health conditions or social isolation. Teenagers cook with over-65s, carers have time out, stroke survivors gain confidence and skills – Chequers meet many and varied needs.