Chop Cook Chat, a project developed by Portsmouth City Council's Independence and Wellbeing Team for older Portsmouth men to learn basic cookery skills, has been successful in bidding for £10,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund.

There are five Chop Cook Chat groups across Portsmouth, with most currently at capacity. The funding will be used to develop the Chop Cook Chat model so that community partners and other organisations can set up and run Chop Cook Chat groups independently. It will also enable the five existing community based groups to become fully autonomous in continuing to meet fortnightly and cook together. Both of these actions will help more men to access Chop Cook Chat and be able to benefit from it for a longer period of time.

Chop Cook Chat is for men aged 50 and above who have had a change in circumstances such as bereavement, taking on caring responsibilities, being diagnosed with a lifestyle related health condition or who have become socially isolated. They may never have had to shop, prepare or cook meals before.

Dr Jason Horsley, Director of Public Health at Portsmouth City Council said; "The Chop Cook Chat groups have been incredibly successful at helping older men to learn basic cooking skills so that they, and anyone they're cooking for, can eat healthy, nutritious and tasty meals. They've also helped men connect to others in a similar situation which is important for reducing social isolation.

"I'm thrilled that Chop Cook Chat has been successful in gaining additional funding on top of what they've already received from the Southern Co-op, Waitrose, Tesco and the Community Chest. This money means we can support other partners and organisations to run Chop Cook Chat groups independently, which will increase provision so that more men can benefit from them."

Any organisation interested in setting up a Chop Cook Chat group should contact Linda Long on 023 9284 1762 / linda.long@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

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