Facilitated by UCW, the program is currently held from 10.00am to 2.00pm every Tuesday at the City’s Blue Gum Community Centre in Brentwood, at a minimal cost of $5 per session. While 10 to12 people and their support workers currently enjoy the cooking classes each week that number is expected to grow following an agreement between UCW and the City to open up the program to the wider community.
UCW’s Head of Service Operations Michael Chester said the new NDIS funding model meant that people with disability now had the opportunity to choose from a greater range of programs and activities offered within the community.
“We welcome anyone from the local community who might benefit from the program to come along and join us. The class participants get to decide what they want to cook, they go and buy the ingredients from our local IGA and then prepare the meal together,” Michael said.
“It provides our participants with the chance to grow their friendship circles, work on their social and life skills and just enjoy being part of the community.”
City of Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey said the City was happy to be working with UnitingCare West to support the program.
“By opening up the program to the wider community, more people with disability in our City will have the opportunity to build on important skills such as planning, money handling, shopping and cooking,” Mayor Aubrey said.
“A Sense of Community is also one of the key outcomes we focus on, as the community have told us it has a direct impact on their wellbeing. As the participants socialise and enjoy the connection of shared activities in the kitchen, this cooking program will contribute greatly to their sense of achievement and community, and we think that’s a great thing.”