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Care leavers get together online for #MondayNightDinners


Young people in care and who have recently left care have been supporting each other through the coronavirus crisis by holding online cooking sessions together.

Every Monday evening, members of Leicester’s Care Experienced Consultants (CEC) gather together online for a cookalong of a simple recipe, allowing them to socialise together as well as improve their cookery skills.

The CEC is supported by youth workers from Leicester City Council.

The sessions are conducted by different members of the CEC sharing their favourite recipes, such as homemade pizza with wedges and pasta with a creamy tomato sauce.

Participants upload pictures of their successful creations to social media so that they can all share their results, using the hashtag #MondayNightDinners.

As well as improving cookery skills, the sessions are designed to be a chance for young people to get together and socialise during the coronavirus lockdown. The sessions also support the Quaranteens online campaign to help young people look after their mental health at this difficult time.

Leah from the CEC, who led one of the sessions, said: “Monday Night Dinners have been a great opportunity to socialise virtually with other members of the group, we have learnt so many new skills that we will take with us after lockdown.  It’s a challenging time for care leavers so keeping in touch with each other during these times is so important.”

Deputy city mayor Cllr Sarah Russell, who leads on social care, said: “These young people have been amazing in the way they have responded to the challenges of lockdown. This is such a simple, positive thing for them to do together – supporting each other and sharing their skills. The results have been impressive!”

As well as #MondayNightDinners, the Quaranteens campaign has seen young people making and sharing videos online with tips for looking after your mental health, as well as suggesting positive activities that can help to ease lockdown bordedom.

And the Cards from Care initiative has seen young people in care sharing inspirational messages with one another through postcards, either mailed out or shared on social media.