On September 2, staff, mentors and young adults made it through rail strikes, holiday traffic chaos and dubious bus timings to Cheshire Cookery School for a Believe & Achieve Cookery Day.
Accomplished chefs Rob Owen Brown and Alex Worrall started the day by teaching the B&A team how to make homemade pasta (from scratch!) and then moved on to bread making.
The team represented a range of skills, from those who’d never broken an egg to passionate bakers. The morning concluded with everyone sitting down to eat their own tagliatelle al funghi.
The afternoon session opened with a masterclass in baking an orange polenta cake and then everyone got creative decorating it with fondant icing.
The group left with goody bags, their own homemade focaccia and polenta cake, but not before two peer mentors shared their experiences of meningitis and the ways it has impacted them.
It is the last B&A event for Becky Hartwell, who, after five years of running amazingly creative and inclusive B&A events, is moving on to a new role as Support Services Manager.
Becky says, “One of the highlights of the day for me was seeing the new Believe & Achieve Youthwork Coordinator, Mikala, chat to everyone and ensure that everyone felt welcomed and listened to.
She is fantastic and has brought new ideas and enthusiasm as well as her diverse background in supporting a range of young people with her. I can’t wait to see what she does next in B&A.”
A massive thank you to the cookery school who made the day so memorable with their humour, patience and professionalism, as well as the new skills the B&A team will continue to use in their own kitchens. They even did all the washing up too!
Believe & Achieve events strive to offer a safe space where anyone can come and be themselves. Becky says, “There isn’t a stigma around experiences, a need to share anything people don’t want to, or any questions around people’s skills.
Believe & Achieve is a place to just be and where there are no expectations of participants and where successes, big or small, are celebrated.”
The reflections of participants from the day say it all:
“In my eyes this day was perfect.” Ola.
“Thank you so much for such a brilliant and exciting day - it was really enjoyable and lovely to meet you and see everyone. HUGE well done to the B&A team for their amazing organisational efforts, enthusiasm and upbeat energy as always. I've been nibbling the polenta cake ever since I got back, it's honestly SO good!” Holly