Parents complete Ayrshire College’s BeAwesome Family Food Programme

Parents complete Ayrshire College’s BeAwesome Family Food Programme

A celebration event was held at Ayrshire College’s Kilmarnock Campus to recognise the achievements of seven mothers who have completed the inaugural Community Sports Hub BeAwesome Family Food Programme.

Put forward for the six-week programme by the East Ayrshire Council Home Link team, the women have been learning new recipes and cooking delicious, healthy meals in the College’s Refectory under the guidance of Ayrshire College Catering Services Team Leader Jane Speirs.

While they have been learning these new skills, their children have been enjoying fitness activities and football coaching in partnership with Kilmarnock Community Sports Trust, while the younger kids have been looked after by staff and students in the early years department.

This whole-college approach to the programme – which is supported by the Kris Boyd Charity and OnlySport - has been instrumental in letting the whole family take part in activities and enjoy themselves in the college environment on a Thursday night.

The programme is the latest success story for Ayrshire College’s award-winning Connecting Communities initiative. Over the years Ayrshire College has been working with partners to deliver a variety of health, fitness and sport opportunities to thousands of children and adults across Ayrshire.

The celebration event was attended by a host of college guests, including former footballers Rose Reilly MBE and Kris Boyd, who run football camps for boys and girls at Ayrshire College at various times in the year through the Community Sports Hub.

Other guests included Provost Jim Todd, East Ayrshire Council’s Depute Chief Executive Katie Kelly, Councillor Neal Ingram, who has responsibility for Community Safety, Roads and Transportation and Community Cohesion, and Kevin Wells, Strategic Lead: Communities.

Upon completion of the programme, the families were gifted free kitchen appliances including a slow cooker, a handheld blender and digital scales. Food hampers valued at £20 by Tesco, including essentials and treats, were also given to the participants.

They were also given footballs and sports kit, and a selection box was delivered directly to the children by Santa.

Kimberley Clark, 34 from Hurlford, who was referred to the programme by her Home Link key worker, said: “To be quite honest with you, before I started here, I had no cooking skills. But by coming here and taking away the recipes, cooking at home, my skills are building up. My confidence is no good but being able to come here and meet other mums, I’ve got on great with everybody, including their children. My 11-year-old loves going away and enjoying football, dancing, all the sports. She couldn’t wait to come to this.”

Kevin Wells, East Ayrshire Council’s Strategic Lead: Communities, said: “#BeAwesome is a great example of co-production between Ayrshire College and the Council using our assets and connections to make an impact in the lives of our community members who need it the most!

“Hosted within the wonderful Ayrshire College Campus and engaging with college departments to provide childcare, physical activity provision and deliver the cooking skills to parents, this progressive partnership has allowed our families engaged with East Ayrshire’s Home Link team to have a fantastic six-week experience.

“I would also like to say a massive thank you to the Kris Boyd Charity who are a key partner in all the activities facilitated within the college, and Tesco who have provided the hampers and ingredients for families to take home. The project has been such a success that we will definitely look to run it again in 2023.” 

Kris Boyd said: “The charity is delighted to support this excellent programme, which has hopefully been a positive experience and helped the seven families gain new skills. It’s been great to come along and chat with the participants and understand what this programme has done for them.”

Rose Reilly MBE said: “The college does so much for the local community. Things like this, in this current climate, are worth their weight in gold. It shows that Ayrshire College is a caring college.”

23 December 2022

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