Case study:

Chequers Community Kitchen Mood Food Project

Funding Programme: Mid-life Mental Health

Chequers Kitchen Cookery School’s mission is to teach people to cook, eat well, and develop a healthy relationship with food. The Mood Food project developed and delivered classes for people who live with mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety. The classes allow everyone to cook healthy, appetising dishes encouraging a diet that supports improved mental health in a fun and friendly environment. 

The Mood Food project has been supporting people with a wide range of conditions, like Elaine.  When Elaine first came to Mood Food with a carer she had suffered a psychotic episode and was still affected by her medication. She was uncommunicative and withdrawn.  Over the course of several weeks she began to interact with other participants and steadily became more confident and sociable.  Elaine now has a part time job as a carer and is well on the road to recovery. She gained a great deal of confidence from the sessions and attributed some of her recovery to her attendance.

Another participant explains why they enjoyed participating in the Mood Food project: "I suffer from mental illness and anxiety.  When you suffer with a mental health problem, the last thing you want to do is to cook. To see someone laughing when they are cooking is quite special.  The best thing I like about the project is the way it beings community together."