A charity cookbook that was inspired by colleagues getting together virtually to have fun in the kitchen during lockdown has been released by Staffordshire University.

Motivated by the trials and tribulations of lockdown, a love of cooking and the desire for human interaction while staying safe at home, three Associate Deans at the University started up their own virtual kitchen and their labour of love has now been turned into a fund-raising cookbook.

The ‘Staffoodshire University Community Cookbook’ has been launched with recipes from Associate Deans Angela Lawrence, Laura Walton-Williams and Mike Phillips.

The downloadable book will raise money for the Staffordshire University Horizon Fund and the University’s corporate charity, North Staffs Mind.

The project also included contributions from YMCA North Staffs, Port Vale FC and The Hubb Foundation. There’s also a special guest appearance from local poet Nick Degg aka ‘Oatcake Man’.

Recipes in the 58-page book include Salt and Pepper Shredded Chicken, Ecclefechan Tart and Bara Brith – among many others.

Dr Laura Walton-Williams, Associate Dean in the School of Law, Policing and Forensics, said: “During the early days of lockdown a few of us got together to take part in virtual cooking afternoons. We’d choose recipes and use Microsoft Teams to show what we were making and how, so we could all have a cook-a-long. It was a great way to have some fun at a time when everyone was literally cooped up indoors.”

Mike Phillips, Associate Dean in the School of Health and Social Care, said: “We know how important food, eating and diet is to our daily lives, health and wellbeing, and how much fun there is to be had in cooking, eating socially and feeding others so we’re hoping that this book will inspire people to get creative in the kitchen.”

Angela Lawrence, Associate Dean at Staffordshire Business School, said: “Off the back of the virtual cooking nights an idea was formed at the University about how we could use the recipes and photos taken during lockdown and turn it into a fund-raiser. It’s great to see how that’s been widened out and the book includes our recipes as well as contributions from the local community. All donations made for this downloadable book will be shared equally between the Staffordshire University Horizon Fund and North Staffs Mind.”

The Staffordshire University Horizon Fund has been created to assist as many students as possible in challenging times, to progress and excel, by providing them with bursaries, scholarships and opportunity awards. Donations to the Horizon Fund enable students overcome barriers, achieve their potential and give them the best possible employability skills to propel their careers forward.

staffordshire-university-cookbook-for-charity-november-2020Mental health charity North Staffs Mind provides counselling and mental health support services across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. The ‘Staffoodshire University Cookbook’ is available to download for a suggested donation of just £3. To buy a copy, go to Virgin Money Giving page, make a donation and you’ll be sent a link to a downloadable copy straight to your inbox.

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