Health, disability & well-being

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


At Made In Hackney we believe everyone should have access to healthy, affordable food that's good for people - and the planet. In our award winning eco-community kitchen we deliver life changing healthy eating focused cookery and food growing classes. Although the outcomes are different for every individual (weight loss, blood pressure decrease, lowering need for insulin, more energy, feel happier) all our participants leave us with the skills and inspiration to cook healthy, budget wise meals that will keep themselves and their families well for life. And not just any old 'healthy meal', but meals that are good for the planet too - with a focus on local, seasonal, plant-based and where possible organic ingredients. If people don't know how to cook or what to do with fruit and veg before they come to us, they certainly do by the time they leave - aiming to eat not just the minimum of 5 a-day but the more ambitious but health supporting 7-9 portions a day.
Since opening in October 2012 we have worked with a hugely diverse range of community groups. From young carers to visually impaired, low income families to local ethnic minority and cultural groups, children in care to young care leavers, adults on rehab programmes to young stroke survivors, pensioners to early years play centre attendees, hearing impaired to young people excluded from school - we believe everyone should learn how to eat better so they can stay fit, well, healthy and happy for life.
But how do we know what we do works? We follow the progress of our course participants, tracking their eating habits before doing the course, after completing it and then three months later down the line to see what changes have stayed and what, if any, they couldn't. These long term follow up chats are the most revealing. We've had type 2 diabetic patients tell us they take much less insulin since going on our course.A daughter telephone us to say their 82 year old Dad has bought a juicer, veg peeler and grater - and is cooking meals for their family for the first time in their life. We've had parents tell us their children eat twice as much vegetables than they previously used to. And a Zimbabwean lady who enthused about her weight loss thus, "I used waddle like a duck, but now I sprint like a cheetah."
We've had some good results with teenagers too. After weighing out the amount of sugar in certain fizzy drinks we've had whole groups vow to give them up (with mixed long term success!). After doing an experiment where we left a take away hamburger in a cupboard for 6 weeks and it not changing (yes that really did happen), young people entering engaged discussions about what real food is, and isn't, and what it's impact on the body is. And after completing a six week Hackney Take Away course with us teenagers pronouncing that vegetables, "Really aren't that bad after all."

Project Video

Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team (AMURT) UK

Moment of Pride

I feel immensely proud of Made In Hackney as although it's a small organisation we have helped a massive 5000 people lead healthier lives. This would not be possible without our volunteers, who's dedication, warmth and commitment make our work possible and our programmes such a success.

Location: London