A slice of Italy for Little Havens children

September 14, 2020

Children supported by a local hospice have had a little slice of Italy brought into their homes thanks to technology and the support of a local business.

Coronavirus has suspended all social groups and therapies at Little Havens, so the charity’s Chef, Paul Starling, decided to host a pizza workshop with families over video app Zoom.

He showed them how to make the dough and sauce from scratch whilst the families chose their own toppings. Cucina, an Italian restaurant in Leigh on Sea, provided Paul with all the ingredients needed for the demonstration so there was no cost to the charity.

Caroline Burzotta from the restaurant on Broadway West, said, “At Cucina we believe that food is one of life’s simple pleasures and cooking as a family is such a great opportunity to have fun and spend quality time together.

“It was a pleasure to donate the ingredients for such a fantastic event and for such a brilliant local charity. We hope everyone involved had a great time preparing and an even better time eating their pizzas!”

One of the teenagers who took part from Harrison Wilkinson from Rayleigh. The 19 year old was supported by his Mum, Tracy Holyland. “Harrison had so much fun. He loved his new chef hat and apron and enjoyed eating a little bit of his creation, whilst his sister and brother helped with the rest.

“During this strange time, we have had to find some great ways to entertain him and this certainly was one of them.”

Little Havens is still providing end of life and crisis intervention care at the hospice in Thundersley, and has started opening up its gardens to one family at a time so they’re able to enjoy the grounds in a social distant and safe way.

Throughout the pandemic, the charity has been embracing technology and finding virtual methods to provide as much support as possible, such as online music therapy and these baking sessions. Chef Paul says, “The reason behind these sessions is to attempt to engage families in a fun activity while promoting the importance of cooking and healthy eating. I want to try and prove that cooking doesn’t have to be hard work.

“The sessions are about making cooking easy and fun for all the family, using accessible ingredients and simple recipes to create delicious tasting and healthy food right from the comfort of your own home. On a personal level I get great satisfaction in seeing our families enjoying food, having fun and interacting with each other.”

The sessions are recorded and shared with families who couldn’t join live. The next theme is ‘America’ and the families will be baking their own authentic apple pie.


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