Dundee Bairns Cooking Groups
We did it
On 28th June 2022 we successfully raised £12,170 ( + est. £15.00 Gift Aid ) with 244 supporters in 42 days

To help us deliver cooking groups for children to help teach basic cooking skills, and to equip them with resources to carry this on at home

by Genna Millar in Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Continue to grow and develop the project across more schools in Dundee. 


National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund

We’re taking part in the National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund. Donations to our project will be matched by the fund up to the value of £250 per donation to help us overcome the effects of the pandemic.


Please note only one donation per supporter will be matched by the National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund.

A hot meal after school

Dundee Bairns already delivers after-school meals through our Tea Clubs during the winter months.  These meals are delivered to school groups running sessions for children across Dundee who may be experiencing food insecurity. These children may need help with social or academic issues, or they may need to be in a safe, warm place for as long as possible after school, or they might just need a wee bit of extra support for any reason.

When Covid-19 hit, our Tea Club model was challenged; due to restrictions, schools simply did not have the staff, nor the space to carry out Tea Clubs safely after school, which meant that the children who required this additional help and support were missing out. We were keen to find a solution.

Flexible and adaptable

We are always eager to work as flexibly as possible, and when approached by one Family Development Worker about the possibility of running virtual cooking classes at ardler Primary School, we thought this was a great idea to help get food to children, while also engaging them in meaningful educational activity.  We funded her idea, and she was able to deliver a term's worth of cooking classes for 12 children, teaching them basic cooking skills, building relationships with the families, while at the same time ensuring the kids had a meal after school.  We were then able to offer this as an option to other schools.

Cooking up vital life skills

This idea grew and developed.  We were lucky enough to be included in a funding package from Scottish Government which was distributed by Faith in Communities Dundee. This helped support Covid Recovery in communities, focusing on helping people to help themselves.  Faith in Communities had the fantastic idea of supporting people with budget cooking classes and helping them with starter cooking packs.  As we were the only charity providing these services specifically for children, this translated nicely into taking our cooking clubs for children after school one step further, by adding cooking and baking packs to our offer.

Taking Action

This idea was realised when Claypotts Castle Primary School were funded to deliver after-school cooking and café groups by us, which enabled them to support the children's learning and development. We then worked with the group to make bespoke cooking and baking packs which focused on helping the children recreate what they had learned at home with their families.  The children were involved in both choosing and making the food, as well as serving the food to each other in a cafe environment; setting tables, creating menus, and considering nutritional values. 

The feedback from these groups has been incredible - the children chosen for the projects are children who need some extra support and may not always engage well within classroom settings. Being able to equip them with the correct tools to carry out parts of their learning at home and seeing them share it with their families has been something really special for the children, the families and also the staff who work so hard to deliver the cooking groups for the children.

Staff within the school have been really impressed with the content of the packs and have found the sessions really beneficial for the young people involved. They have commented on how enthusiastic the young people have been and expressed that the funding has enabled them to run the group in a much bigger, and far-reaching way than they usually could. One of the development workers in the school said that the group simply couldn't have gone ahead as it did without the support that was provided through this funding. 

Looking to the Future

This model offers dignity of choice, skills for life, a learning experience, and is adaptable from school to school. We are promoting an interest in cooking that will hopefully carry through our young people's lives. By providing good quality utensils to to the young people directly we are giving them a memorable and distinctive experience that allows them and their families to continue learning and experimenting with food long after the group itself has been concluded.

Impact for the Bairns

This project will make a real and tangible difference for hungry children across Dundee, allowing them to learn a new skill, spend time with their families, build confidence and at the end of it all have a hot, filling meal with their loved ones. 

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