Cooking up the way to big social impacts

Posted: 05 July 2021, in News

You Can Cook CIC is a community interest company specialising in health and nutrition through cooking and growing.

Our company’s mission is to encourage and empower local communities to make informed choices about their food and health. Our services are affordable and accessible to all. 

We’re particularly interested in working with groups that have been economically or socially disadvantaged so that they can regain their health and confidence. Healthy eating initiatives are promoted through all our services, while introducing food as a positive force for health and well-being. 

We’ve introduced the concept of cooking as fun and easy. We’ve created, through our workshops, a safe and relaxed environment where people from all ages can come together, socialise, rediscover and explore a healthier approach to cooking with simple and nutritious ingredients (using seasonal and local produce). 

Cooking at home will help people save money and You Can Cook will offer very good value in terms of specialised services to communities. In the long-term communities will experience and enjoy the benefits of an improved level of health. 

Going forward we’re looking to access funding from grants and government contracts (Service Level Agreements) to deliver policies related to food, health and nutrition that help and support grassroots communities across Scotland through all our training programmes, including Energised Lunches, an accredited programme devised in partnership with Abertay University, Dundee. 

Currently we’ve received funding from the Big Lottery’s Young Start grant to run a cookery programme for young pupils at Hawick High School. We’re also in the process of finalising a 3-year food programme in partnership with three housing associations in the Scottish Borders.

We also raise awareness of how and where our food comes from and also introduce the concept of growing food free of chemical fertilisers and pesticides in their gardens and allotments. This is done through our off-shoot You Can Grow, by teaching how to convert their outdoor/indoor spaces into edible gardens or working together in community allotments using organic/ permaculture principles. 

You Can Cook has added another feather to its cap by launching a book for growers in Scotland. This book is aimed at aspiring growers of all ages, beginners and experts too! The book is a simple, practical guide to help you take the first steps to growing your own food and have fun at the same time. You don’t need to buy expensive starter kits to get growing as the book is full of easy to find and use household items that normally are thrown away which now can be recycled to help you grow! This is the first book published by a Community Interest Company (Social Enterprise) in Scotland, aimed at Scottish growers! 

The book is available in all leading independent bookstores in the Borders and will be available in major bookshops across Scotland very soon. The book is also available to buy online through our website here. Post Covid we are looking to launch a new exciting venture in Edinburgh. Follow us on social media to find out more.

Bosco Santimano, Founder and Executive Director, You Can Cook