Test your brain power to support Hitchin’s Triangle Community Garden
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
A quiz will be held tomorrow night to raise funds for a Hitchin community project that helps adults with learning difficulties improve their diet.
Volunteers at the Triangle Community Garden, at Ransoms Recreation Ground, run groups including Growing Health – teaching where our food comes from, how to grow it and then how to cook a healthy meal.
Many of the group suffer with conditions like obesity and type 2 diabetes, and project manager Liz McElroy said they had seen some great results with weight loss.
“Usually we have half the group growing and half the group cooking, and then they all come together and eat the food they have produced,” she said.
“If it’s something they don’t know, they’ll often say they don’t like it – but then they all eat the whole meal and really enjoy it.
WIt’s showing people how to eat by experiencing the food itself as a group. Many of them were eating microwave meals – which is a battle in itself, because they’re so high in sugar and salt.
“But it’s a marvellous group to help learn how to eat well. We’ve found it helps them take more control over what they’re cooking at home – they make better choices about what they’re going to prepare.”
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Volunteer Karen Shields – who is a nutritional therapist – said it was clear a lot of what the participants learned was getting through and being used at home.
“A lot of the group, when they first started, couldn’t even peel vegetables,” she said.
“They got very nervous about being around utensils – but we’ve broken down the barriers and now they’re using some of the stuff at home.
“We’re trying to incorporate the horticultural aspect with the nutritional aspect, and there’s a lot of connection between the two – which is more effective than just sitting there each week and saying ‘stop eating sugar!’.”
There’s one eight-person Growing Health group at the moment, but the team hope to start a new one this year.
Funding for the group comes from donations and grants. Those taking part in the three-hour sessions also pay £32 each to help cover costs.
The quiz night is at Walsworth Community Centre tomorrow, Friday night, from 7.30pm for an 8pm start. Tickets cost £10, including food. There will be a licensed bar. Under-18s can come but will not be served alcohol.
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