Twenty local residents in the Oldham area have come together over a love of food and sharing recipes.

Earlier this year, our work in the BGreen area connected us with a group of ladies from the Bangladesh community, who were attending a healthy cooking class at Holy Cross Primary School.

The aim of the class was to show these women how to cook their traditional dishes without using as much cooking oil (or Ghee, as they traditionally use in Bangladeshi cooking).

The class was a huge success, and through our Community Builder, Lisa Brown, a few of the attendees applied for a Cash4Graft Award in order to expand their knowledge to others who weren’t able to attend.

The ladies wanted to share their skills with other ladies in the community who were unable to attend the sessions themselves. The group uses cooking facilities at the Barker Street Community Room free of charge thanks to our partnership with First Choice Homes in the area.

The group put on an event which they organised themselves, inviting local residents and putting on some delicious home cooked traditional Bangladeshi dishes.

There was a great buzz at the event as it is quite rare the women have a chance to get together and socialise in this way. The preparing and cooking of the food was shared amongst all that attended and they then sat down to enjoy the feast. Our Communities team even got to try the delicious treats themselves!

These sessions aim to reduce the amount of fat and salt that often comes with following a traditional Bangladeshi diet. The reduction of Ghee, which is an oil very high in fats aims to improve the individuals’ health and cholesterol as well as their family’s.

Rijun Nessa from the group said: “It has been a great opportunity for us to get together, socialise, share our skills and share food.”

Often ladies from the Bangladeshi community do not socialise or meet new friends. By introducing them to their community and their surroundings, they are meeting new people all the time and coming out of their shells. This helps them to gain confidence and improves their general wellbeing.

Lisa Brown, Forever Manchester’s Community Builder said: “It’s wonderful to see the community assets of the BGreen area being used for events where groups of women can get together, share skills and help to build the BGreen Community.”

A Cash4Graft Award of just £250 has seen these ladies meet new friends, gain confidence and learn new skills, which will hopefully help their general health.

To date, Forever Manchester Women has helped to raise over £4,000 for female-led community projects and groups just like this one. This is essentially 16 Cash4Graft Awards. If you’d like to help us to raise more money for inventive female-led projects like this one, and mingle with likeminded females across Greater Manchester, head to Forever Manchester Women next month.

Held at TATTU in Spinningfields, if you’d like to attend purchase tickets below:

*please note: there is a small Eventbrite fee
If you’d like more information on the Forever Manchester Women event CLICK HERE.