Buzz Community Bake Off

Buzz Community Bake Off

Baking project where residents will be provided baking kits with all necessary ingredients to bake and create two recipes

Benefit of cooking - baking

Research shows that eating home cooked meals is associated with a healthier diet and particularly an increased fruit and vegetable intake. Cooking interventions have a positive impact on participants’ knowledge and skills, attitudes, food-related preferences and behaviour; this applies to children and adults alike. People from vulnerable, low-socioeconomic backgrounds particularly benefit from cooking skill interventions.


Ancoats, Beswick, Clayton & Openshaw

Project team

List project team and partners involved.


Amanda’s Outside Catering


One of the most significant public health measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic has been extended periods of ‘lockdown’ where whole populations have been advised to remain in their households.

During the weekly HDC & Council Neighbourhood meetings during the initial lockdown, reports of residents struggling with their wellbeing were citywide. The extended periods of lockdown were taking their toll on the wellbeing of the neighbourhood but in particular, the residents who were on the vulnerable list or those who were subsequently self-isolating as a family member was deemed vulnerable.

A number of buzz workers from across the city came together to develop a project which would help to promote positive wellbeing and lift spirts of the participants, it was decided that a project revolving around food as this was another issue coming through the neighbourhood meetings.

We worked with Amanda’s Outside Catering to design ten different recipes and to create the baking packs which contain all necessary ingredients and instructions how to bake recipe.

The buzz workers would then deliver these packs to know groups and residents and collect quotes and photos which will be used in the second stage of the project where a community cookbook will be made to display all the recipes and community photos.


“This year has been dead hard, it was awesome to receive a pack”

Quotes from Project Worker from Sanctuary Supported Living:

“The meal and desert kits provided by Buzz Manchester have been a huge success here at Victoria House. The residents were all really keen to get stuck in, and start cooking with the ingredients and recipes provided. The kits have provided the residents here with not only a positive use of time, but motivation and a sense of achievement. The responses from our residents have been nothing short of genuine positivity, enjoyment and pride”.

“Unfortunately, due to restrictions in place, group cooking sessions have proved difficult, but the meal kits have provided our residents with the opportunity to take it upon themselves independently and enjoyed cooking in the privacy of their own flats”.

“The meal kits have been a great opportunity for residents to reduce isolation by getting together, socially distanced or in their support bubbles”.

Quotes from Victoria House’s residents:

‘I thought it was lovely to share a meal with my support bubble, reminded me of being at Grandad’s’ - RB

‘i really liked spending time with my neighbours enjoying a home-cooked meal’ - MS

‘It was great, reminded me of food I had as a kid!’ - RA

'We all at Victoria House are so grateful for the support and kindness Buzz Manchester have given us as of late. Your help has provided our residents with a sense of purpose, a meaningful use of time, enjoyment and hope.'


The distribution element of the project was a success with overwhelmingly positive feedback from residents who took part. The 50 baking packs were distributed to known groups in the neighbourhood who are currently isolated during lockdown and residents who are vulnerable & have compromised immune systems. The two recipes of apple crumble & calzones were cooked and enjoyed by residents, with a community cookbook containing all the recipes across neighbourhoods still to come.

This project will have a form of lasting legacy due to a few of the residents of Victoria House have become interested in cooking and talks of establishing a cooking group are in process. Moreover, Clayton residents have expressed an interest in establishing a cooking group at the local Sure Start due to this project.

Strategic links to local/national policies



Helping people live healthier lives

Healthy Lives, Healthy People (MH Government, 2010)

Fair Society, Healthy Lives (Institute of Health Equity, 2010)

The Manchester Locality Plan – A Healthier Manchester

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Manchester Prevention Programme


Healthy Lives, Healthy People (MH Government, 2010)

Fair Society, Healthy Lives (Institute of Health Equity, 2010)

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

Addressing health inequalities

Fair Society, Healthy Lives (Institute of Health Equity, 2010)

Giving children and young people the best start in life

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Research/evidence base

Garcia, A.L., Reardon, R., McDonald, M., Vargas-Garcia, E. J. (2016) Community Interventions to Improve Cooking Skills and Their Effects on Confidence and Eating Behaviour. Current Nutrition Reports. 5, 315–322

Hasan, B., Thompson, W.G., Almasri, J. et al. (2019) The effect of culinary interventions (cooking classes) on dietary intake and behavioral change: a systematic review and evidence map. BMC Nutrition. 5, 29.

Hersch D, Perdue L, Ambroz T, Boucher JL. (2014) The impact of cooking classes on food-related preferences, attitudes, and behaviors of school-aged children: a systematic review of the evidence, 2003-2014. Preventing Chronic Disease. 11:E193.

Mills, S., Brown, H., Wrieden, W., White, M., Adams, J. (2017) Frequency of eating home cooked meals and potential benefits for diet and health: cross-sectional analysis of a population-based cohort study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 14, 109.

Mills, S., White, M., Brown, H., Wrieden, W., Kwasnicka, D., Halligan, J., Robalino, S. Adams, J. (2017) Health and social determinants and outcomes of home cooking: A systematic review of observational studies. Appetite. 111:116-134.


Matt Brown - Neighbourhood Health Worker

T. 0161 271 0564

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"Before I didn’t know anyone in this area, then a neighbour invited me to the afternoon tea, and I met lots of people who live just a few doors away."

Local resident attending Spoon and Ladle afternoon tea, Burnage

Local resident attending Spoon and Ladle afternoon tea, Burnage photo