Newcastle College has been donating supplies to Newcastle Foodbank in Benwell for several years, as part of its commitment to supporting the local community.
Recently, it has expanded its support beyond donations, by launching roadshows and offering free short courses to foodbank users to help them manage money.
The ‘Introduction to Money Management and Household Budgets’ roadshows and courses are run by the College’s Adult Skills for Work team, who support users to learn more about managing household finances and cooking healthy food on a budget.
Newcastle College’s Head of Adult Education, Sally McMahon explained: “Our aim with the roadshow was to engage people who use the foodbank in some fun activities to help them with simple day-to-day maths problems such as managing money.”
Activities at the events include guessing the number of jellybeans in a jar, guessing the ingredients of food to understand how healthy it is, and prioritising bills. The most popular activity was making soup, where participants were given a soup recipe card and asked to measure the ingredients out to make one batch of soup, and then work out how much it cost to make.
When asked if they found the roadshow useful, one participant said: “I nearly died when I saw how much sugar and fat there could be in everyday food, I said there'd be none in some of them!” Another added: “It was nice to get together with people. I get lonely so the company was lovely. I learnt new things too.”
After the roadshow, the team introduced participants to the free 10-week Digital Skills and Employability programme ran by Newcastle College at Denton Burn Library. Learners who successfully complete this programme receive a free tablet.
Other Newcastle College courses available at the foodbank include:
- Cooking on a budget
- How to create a household budget