A healthy cooking and eating course which was introduced following the introduction of a sugar tax initiative has been called ‘fantastic’ by a community leader.
The final instalment of a Let’s Cook project took place at Ship Shape Health and Wellbeing Centre in Sharrow, after the scheme was set-up by Sheffield leisure provider SIV.
It was arranged and funded by SIV, the operational arm of regional health and wellbeing charity Sheffield City Trust, using funds generated by the organisation’s sugar tax initiative.
Tanya Basharat, health manager at Ship Shape Health and Wellbeing, said: “The healthy cooking and eating course was a fantastic initiative for local people.
“Hearing praise from those who have taken part makes the initiative more than worthwhile. The skills, techniques and knowledge which those who have taken part can now take to their communities will benefit local people no-end.”
The sugar tax scheme, launched in 2016, saw an introduction of a 20p levy on all high-sugar drinks sold at cafes and vending machines in SIV facilities.
In its first 12 months, according to a study conducted by the University of Sheffield and supported by Sheffield City Trust, the initiative saw more than a 30 per cent reduction in the sales of sugar sweetened beverages as a result of the policy.
It raised more than £25,000, which is being reinvested into obesity and prevention programmes for young people.
SIV reinvested part of the funds generated by the tax into healthy cooking training for its community partners, offering community workers the opportunity to develop skills and ideas in order to support healthy lifestyles.
In total, 22 community workers have attended the cookery courses from six of SIV’s key partners across the city.
Rob Womack, healthy partnerships manager at SIV, said: “The sugar tax initiative and subsequent set-up of a Health Fund has provided us with a fantastic opportunity to carry out some fully joined-up work in local communities.
“It’s great to see funding being reinvested into the community to improve lifestyles and change mindsets of local people. Initiatives such as this provide a real-life benefit and I hope it’s the first of many.”