Case Notes; JUST THE JOB

Article excerpt

Deborah Demir Head cookery teacher Deborah Demir, 39, is the head cookery teacher at the Actonbased Kids Cookery School, a charity that is aimed at inspiring 3-16 year-olds how to cook and eat healthily.

"We create an environment where all sorts of children, including ones with behavioural difficulties and special needs, are empowered," says Demir.

"We give them the confidence to cook and feel they have acheived something worthwhile. We say it's not about "You shouldn't do that", it's about having a positive experience."

Demir became involved in the school after she saw it on Rick Stein's TV programme. "I thought it looked really interesting so I started helping out with the after-school club, then Fiona, the founder, trained me to teach although I already had a background in catering."

The Kids Cookery School has specialised teaching methods, which includes health and safety information about, for instance, why they should wash their hands before cooking and what happens if they eat germs, but also questions their diets and what they snack on.

In term time, they teach children from local state schools who often have behavioural problems or disabilities; in the holidays, they teach children from private schools.

Demir works three days a week from 9 until 5 30pm and the rest of the time she is involved in The Food Fairies which organises dinner parties.

"One morning I have a class of eight junior children from a local state school; the teachers there organise who would benefit the most from our courses.

"Initially they learn how to make dough and what yeast is, then they make a pizza and eat it. …

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