After the initial excitement of getting through to Stage 2 of the Knee High Design Challenge, we have spent the first few months of 2014 developing our project idea further, forming new partnerships and preparing to test a pared-down version of the training programme with our existing group of migrant parents.

In the prototyping stage, we brought together a group of migrant parents who have been involved in the Cook&Meet project from its beginnings in May 2013. We supported them to think about the role they play in a team, role-play convincing a friend to participate in the project and create a time plan (on a washing line) of what they could achieve between January and March.

Stage 2 kicked off with a training day at Design Council HQ and a Petcha Kucha-style presentation of our idea to an audience of interested individuals from a range of organisations. We received a number of offers of help, including from NHL Partnership, who have offered to help us develop tools to measure our impact for this stage of the project. We had a really useful half a day workshop with them to pull out our aims and outcomes for the project.

To help us to develop our training programme, we have been working with Max Roach from One O’Clock Club. Like us, after working with Brixton People’s Kitchen on four cooking events over the summer, they are now supporting a group of parents to run their own cookery sessions. We visited one of their Bring and Share sessions, where parents each brought a dish and will attend a Cook Up event they have planned this week. It’s great to see how much they have achieved and we hope to learn from them to help develop our training programme.

On Tuesday next week, we plan to run our first training session with the group of parents at St Stephen’s Children’s Centre. We will run a second training session in March. These sessions will aim to support the group to run their own cookery session (hopefully!) at the end of March. This includes supporting them to plan food collection and promotion of the cooking event. It’s a big step up for the group and a chance for us to test the benefits of the training and identify the key challenges to parents running the cookery sessions themselves.

Leila.