Shirley cooks up a fun way to health

Pictured are LtR: Deborah Cheetham, Food Positive's Shirley Southworth, Steven Rennox and Development Worker Amanda Lenegan
Pictured are LtR: Deborah Cheetham, Food Positive's Shirley Southworth, Steven Rennox and Development Worker Amanda Lenegan

FANCY a healthy curry?

A social enterprise project is running healthy eating roadshows across Wigan.

Food Positive is the brainchild of Shirley Southworth, of Winstanley, who wanted to set up an organisation to help people cook and eat wholesome meals.

Using Lottery funding, the enterprise is running healthy eating road shows across the borough and is also offering 100 free places on specialist cooking sessions for individuals experiencing diet-related health problems such as diabetes or coeliac.

Shirley said: “I have been self-employed for 20 years and after moving on from my previous business, I needed to do something worthwhile.

“I am concerned with dwindling kitchen skills and want to encourage people back into the kitchen rather than depending on ready meals and takeaways.

“Food Positive aims to show that cooking at home using healthy ingredients doesn’t have to cost a fortune and can be tasty and fun.

“And as part of our specialist cooking sessions, we are looking for people recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, coeliac disease or with concerns about their heart health to take part in the hands on classes.”

Shirley added that wholesome living was vital to improve life expectancy across the borough.

She said: “Early deaths from heart disease and strokes in Wigan and Leigh are significantly above the national UK average at 346 per 100,000 of the population under 75.

“Six per cent of the population are recorded as having diabetes, which is significantly above the UK average of five per cent. Diet can and does have an effect on our health and wellbeing, we can all reduce our risks of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease by leading a healthier lifestyle.”

Shirley set the enterprise up last May, following a 12-month course with the School for Social Entrepreneurs funded by Wigan Council.

She currently visits community groups, offering cooking sessions, but hopes to have a dedicated training kitchen soon.

Most recently she taught disabled members at Hunter Lodge, in Marsh Green, how to make a low-in-fat curry.

For more information and referral details, visit www.foodpositive.co.uk, email Shirley@foodpositive.co.uk or call 0161 4083630.

The School for Social Entrepreneurs is looking for people for its new programme. If you are interested, email catherinevarley@blackburnehouse.co.uk