Man with a Pan is a successful community cooking and healthy eating project for men over 60 that was first piloted in 2015 by The Organic Cookery School, a not-for-profit community cooking school in Surrey and Hampshire. In partnership with AgeUK Surrey, we raised funds for a pilot project aimed at offering hands-on cooking and nutritional classes to older men with the following target criteria: widowed, caring for a sick partner/caring responsibilities, living alone/isolated, and/or with medical conditions problems.
The project was an overwhelming success with over 800 men aged 55-87 taking part over 4 years. Positive outcomes included increased self-confidence and independence in meal preparation, increased consumption (and enjoyment) of vegetables and fruit, new friendships, reduced isolation/loneliness, and increased uptake of other local men’s projects such as men’s sheds and running soccer. You can read more about these achievements here.
Fast forward to 2022 – and our current BA crowdfunder, which aims to relaunch Man with a Pan post-pandemic and to meet high demand from community organizations who are noticing increasing social isolation and lower engagement of older men in community activities that promote well-being, reduce isolation and improve mental health.
MAN WITH PAN 2022-2023
Our first Man with a Pan courses are planned for late 2022/early 2023, offering taster cooking workshops followed by 6-8 week cooking courses in and around Bordon/Liphook, Aldershot/Farnham and Havant in East Hampshire. As we reach our stretch goal, we will expand our program into Guildford, Woking, Portsmouth, Southampton and Chichester where we have a growing waitlist and strong community needs.
Feedback from previous Man with a Pan contestants:
I learned many new hands-on cooking skills, making pizza dough, baking and making scones, making soups and meatballs. I learned about food safety, food labeling, and the right amount of sugar and salt. The course was informative and well organised. All employees and participants were very friendly and helpful.
It was great to see the hands-on demonstrations and then have the opportunity to do it yourself. I learned so many new cooking skills and made new social connections.
I found it very interesting to learn about the ingredients in our food and how much salt and sugar is in it and that it is not good to have too much sugar and salt. The tips for a low-salt diet were helpful. I also learned that our diet should contain 5 servings of fruit or vegetables.
Please consider supporting Man with a Pan in the community – we have developed a number of thank you rewards (including a thank you dedication in our upcoming Man with a Pan project cookbook and an opportunity to participate in our celebration of the completion of the project in the attend next summer).
Any donation, no matter how small, will make a big difference and help us reach more men over 60 who would benefit from social cooking and learning.