Off Centre youngsters launch cookery book in Hackney

Young people cooked soup and roast vegetables using produce they had grown themselves, for a harvest festival style event to launch their own cookery book - Chop It, Steam It, Bake It.

The youngsters form part of the therapeutic gardening project Hackney Young People Outdoors (HYPOD), which is run by youth charity Off Centre to improve their health and well-being.

Roast vegetables and pizzas from the clay oven, hot vegetable soup and homemade lemonade were just some of the treats conjured up at the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden in Dalston Lane, where they grew some of the produce.

Tanya Andrew, HYPOD group co-ordinator, said: “Overall it’s been great for young people with mental health issues, they’ve transformed a disused garden space, planted a hedgerow and wildflower meadow, it’s helped them to be outdoors and reinforce that concept of feeling better outside feeling better inside.”