The ladies of Beginnings, a peer support group living life without drug misuse, based in Whyalla were lucky enough to have the support of Brenda Hosking, National Drug Education Consultant of the Alcohol and Drug Foundation in arranging for funding from Australian Lions Drug Awareness Foundation Community Initiatives grants and the Whyalla Lions Club in initiating an intergenerational cooking program. Our joint program ran for 10 weeks enabling Beginnings members and Colleen and Garry from the Whyalla Lions Club to participate together with learning and sharing in the making of nutritious, low budget meals that are suitable for people on low incomes.

Being that many of the ladies have children, they requested that the recipes be quick and easy, but tasty and appealing to their children.

Colleen and Garry have been absolutely amazing. Colleen’s experience cooking for family member and guests was very useful, supplying us with a number of delicious recipes that had hidden vegetable goodness for the young children.

In our first week the Beginnings ladies started with learning Garry’s famous sausage rolls, and some pin wheels with the remaining pastry. To say that the sausage rolls were eaten quicker than we could cook would be an understatement.

With hidden vegetables and Garry’s secret ingredient the ladies took ingredients home to cook these with their children, which apparently was just as successful as the cooking class.

The second week Colleen assisted the ladies with cold oven scones, sweet and savoury.

We were lucky enough to be able to host Eira Yarwood and Meg Hill from The Whyalla Lions Club with tea and warm sweet and savoury scones. They presented Mahalia, the Beginnings group mentor with a $1000.00 cheque for the provision of fresh produce, ingredients and additional items.

The Whyalla Lions Club has also kindly donated the cooking utensils that the ladies will be required to use in order to cook and create these recipes at home with their children.

This has been a great experience for everyone involved. We have connected with people in our community that we would not have met without this program. The ladies of the Beginnings group and Kelley from Country and Outback Health would like to thank Brenda Hosking, the Australian Lions Drug Awareness Foundation Community Initiatives and the Whyalla Lions Club and look forward our future cooking sessions with Colleen and Gary and to future activities and interactions with The Lions Club.

Kelley Burns, Peer Support Worker, Country & Outback Health, SA Canberra, ACT: Australian Government – Department of Health.

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