Hospital chefs show Portsmouth community how easy it is to cook healthy
Naz Ahmed and Dave Williams led a hands-on workshop at the city’s Mental Wealth Festival designed to show people how to make delicious salads and shortbread biscuits.
Volunteers got stuck in mixing up shortbread, rolling dough and cutting out biscuits before creating a selection of salads including rice, Waldorf, feta and beetroot, and chilli and potato.
The practical workshop was run in conjunction with the Chat over Chai community group, with whom Naz regularly works to promote healthier food options for people with diabetes.
Lucky Haque, Chat over Chai committee member and patient safety partner at Solent NHS Trust, said: “Naz has been working with Chat over Chai for just under two years now and has been amazing.
“Her cooking workshops for the diabetes group show people how to cook in a healthy way and are just brilliant.
“Being from a South Asian background herself, Naz completely gets it and she quickly became part of our family. She is a wonderful lady and a real credit to Solent NHS Trust.”
As well as leading the workshop, Naz and Dave, both based at Southampton’s Western Community Hospital, cooked a lunch of chickpea and spinach soup, plus potato and cauliflower biryani, for 100 people.
The event, at the Oasis Centre in Arundel Street, marked ten years of the Good Mental Health Cooperative, a community of individuals, groups and social enterprises developing innovative approaches to promote mental health.
As well as information stalls, the day featured free workshops on a wide range of topics including creative writing for wellbeing, self-help techniques and seated exercise.
Iain Robertson, Catering Operations Manager at Solent NHS Trust, said: “Our chefs are highly experienced in cooking nutritious food for so many different patient diets.
“It’s great to see them working in the community, where sharing their food and nutrition knowledge - as well as their cooking skills - can have a huge impact on people’s lives.”