As we mark Mental Health Awareness Week across the country, Food Production Coordinator Claire Rafferty shares her reflections on how Scran plays an important role in the wellbeing of our young people.
We’ve all learned a lot this past year. We’ve changed, adapted, adjusted. It was all an absolute necessity to get through the madness of it all, and here at Scran, we are a prime example of doing just that. It’s no secret that we jumped into action when our world needed us to, and it was an easy choice because that’s what we do here in one capacity or another. We help, we nurture, we love. Whether it’s with our food, our community engagement, or our youth academy, we care. Our jobs here, at their core, are to look after people, and we adore it.
In our academy sessions we envelop our young people in the wonderful world of food and flavour when we cook together for a team lunch, or when we’re making the dishes to deliver to other communities from our Scran Van, or when we write menus for one of our fabulous events. We use our chefs’ experience and knowledge to teach our young people to feed the faces of folk with delicious, healthy scran.
However, behind the food is where it really counts. It’s important for us that our young people learn from us, that we use our knowledge as a team to give them the practical tools for wider life that they need to make good choices and positive decisions. A truly magical part of our youth work is watching their skills develop, to see them use the experiences they’ve shared with us to whip up their own delicious creations, or show off their amazing knife skills, or plan an outstanding event menu. But there is so much more than the practicalities of cooking that we want our young people to know, and to feel. We want our young people to thrive, to succeed, to prove themselves. We instill confidence and resilience and create safe spaces for them to be themselves, to be the best version of whoever they want to be. It’s important, the most important part of our jobs at Scran, that they feel supported in every single way. And so, a huge part of our teachings is the link between a happy body and a happy mind. We mix it up with sugar free days, healthy smoothie battles, Ready Steady Cook style competitions, as well as some days indulging in the comfort of pizza and ice cream! It’s all about the importance of eating well and having a balanced diet, while knowing that it’s also absolutely fine to treat yourself now and again! We do all we can to make sure our wonderful young people are healthy and happy in every way they can be!
We all need to look after ourselves, in the best way we can, especially after the year we’ve all just had! We need to be good to each other, a simple act of just-because-kindness can mean more than you realise. Remember, it absolutely is okay not to be okay, so be kind to yourself, and treat yourself well, mind, body, and soul.
We have listed some organisations below who can offer a range of support to you or someone you care about in times of struggle. However, if you are unable to access support or have an immediate need, please contact us directly so we can help you access the right support as quickly as possible.