Cooking programme makes major impact on bereaved men

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The life-changing impacts of bereavement on men was the focus of a programme held recently in Lurgan.

Participants in the Slow Cooker Programme hailed the new cooking skills they have learned, as well as the support and solidarity from meeting other men who have suffered loss.

Running for two weeks, the programme held in the Jethro Centre and coordinated by the ABC Age Friendly Officer Stephanie Rock, was designed to support men who have suffered a bereavement and to help them learn how to use a slow cooker, improve their lifestyle, and to meet other like-minded people.

A total of 13 local men from across the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough took part and in their feedback, they all said they had benefited from the course and would implement positive changes to their diet and lifestyle.

“Very good programme all round on healthy eating and great to get meeting other men in a similar situation,” said one of the men.

Another responded: “I have learnt quite a lot about food safety and nutrition. The slow cooking class was very informative and helpful. I also enjoyed the environment created by the tutors.”

One man said the course made him realise that he had stopped eating fruit after the death of his wife. “I then went out and bought oranges, bananas and pears,” he added.

And for another participant, the support provided on the programme was very important, He said, “The bereavement talk was very good, I learned a lot from it. I learned a lot about cooking and the girls were terrific. Many thanks it was great to meet all the other men who are in the same situation as myself.”

A similar sentiment was expressed by another man who simply said the course, “made me feel I wasn’t alone.”

All participants received a slow cooker machine, encouraging them to put their new skills into practice and to sustain healthy habits and choices.

Organised by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council in collaboration with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, the programme was funded by the Public Health Agency.