Service users get a Taste of Life around the world at The Basement

Seven service users recently brushed up on their culinary skills and enjoyed a taste of life around the world during a new cookery course at The Basement.


The ‘Taste of Life’ cooking sessions gave the group the opportunity to prepare healthy food, including stews, breads and freshly squeezed juices, from the Punjabi, Ethiopian, Arabic and Welsh cultures.

The four-week course aimed to help participants build self-confidence while also reflecting on life, values and community.

Many of the participants joined The Basement’s Alcohol Detox Residential immediately after the class. By offering a chance to develop basic cooking and social interaction skills, the sessions helped ensure that these individuals were well-equipped for the 14-day residential.

One course participant said: Taste of Life was excellent and it has helped me to take the lead from others. I have learnt to be patient with other people who are at different stages of addiction. The course has also encouraged me to come out and mix in society, and access more groups.”

Another member of the group added: “The course educated me – I learned something new and I enjoyed the learning process. I found the stories interesting and I would like to do this again.”

The sessions were run by Liverpool Community Support Company Director, Matthew Thompson, Cookery Tutor Sammai, and Head Volunteer Richard Dixon.

Matthew explained: “Not only does the course encourage participants to eat healthy food but it also enhances their communication and social skills, and gives them an opportunity to reflect on their lives as they listen to inspirational stories and parables.

“It also gives those taking part a flavour for learning and encourages them to take up future courses.”

At the end of the course, participants were presented with a Taste of Life certificate, pencil and a miniature scroll, and they will receive recipes for the meals they prepared, as well as copies of the stories they listened to. Group members will also be given information on volunteer opportunities at Taste of Life.

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