Empowered Cook-Inn class volunteer Gordon
Meet Gordon (on the right), one of the founders and volunteers of this noble charity. He has been involved since its inception, first in logistics and then with the catering team to date. Most Sundays he would have made his way to The Hollies, in Musselburgh, where he learned to make soup and rolls with some of the donated fresh produce from Morrisons. Today he is using his new skills to serve his local community and Scotland in general.
This blog his of one such service he has rendered to the Scottish Mission of Seventh Day Adventist Church Go Scotland event. For the duration of last weekend, Friday November 30 to Sunday December 2, he was able to apply basic culinary food preparation techniques while keeping a safe working environment at the Lendrick Muir Centre in Kinross. Also, with support, he was able to prepare vegetable salad, fresh seasonal soup, and help with some of the vegan food preparation. In all, the skills he had acquired during time spend with Cook-Inn was re-enforced during the preparation of breakfast, lunch, and dinner even though there were new food products and recipes used and the number of service users was larger than on a regular Sunday service.
Commendation also have to be given to his organisational skills and hospitality. He was the key member of the catering team that aided in the front house preparation such as getting all the breakfast crockery and cutlery ready. This he repeated at lunch and at dinner time with precision while ensuring attendees to the event were well hydrated. He also helped to serve the food while doing so with a smile the encouraged a warm atmosphere.
In all, he has delivered beyond expectation. With Cook-Inn, he normally volunteers for four to five hours on a Sunday but at Go Scotland, he has given an entire weekend service. In terms of food preparation, some twenty to twenty five dishes were served of which he was instrumental in the joint creation of at least seven of such meals. Although he was use to serving local service users in East Lothian and in Edinburgh, he was able to reach a new clientele from all over Scotland and attendees from parts of England. The interesting thing was that has served a multicultural, multilingual, and multi-generational group of people without timidity but with humbleness and charm.
So, how valuable is Cook-Inn classes? Firstly, it help individuals to improve their cooking skills by learning how to make the best use of available resources and the appropriate way of preparing ingredients to be cooked. Secondly, it help to empower those with new skills to use it for themselves and their community. Thirdly, it encourages an atmosphere of social concision with volunteers from different cultural background, gender, language, generation, and skill set which then equip the person for greater service to a broader society when called upon. Finally, it help people to communicate better with others in a working or social environment because in our classes, all have to learn to work together as a team which they transfer the new experiences to other settings. In essence, it makes a more rounded individual who then go on to build his/her social network which then reduce social isolation and increase quality of life outcome.