Westbank Community Health and Care recently welcomed a VIP guest - food writer and author Orlando Murrin - who was joined by the charity’s youngest ever cookery class participants. 

“I had the best fun on a recent visit to Westbank Community Health and Care in Exminster, on the outskirts of Exeter. They’ve set up a Community Cookery School, and on the agenda was a Mother and Baby Weaning Class. I get a bit nervous around babies – I’ve not had much to do with them – but I needn’t have worried, as they all behaved perfectly while the grown-ups chatted and cooked up wholesome, baby-friendly treats, including Pea, Leek, Broccoli, Chickpea and Mint Purée; Hummus/Chickpea Purée; and Banana and Carrot Oat Bars. 

With the prevalence of allergies nowadays, I learnt that babies are introduced to different food groups gradually. Mums Zoe, Sammy, Harriet, Sarah, Kara, Lucy and Jade seemed to take it all in their stride, and I marvelled at how they managed to cook, jiggle babies and have intelligent conversation all at once. We had a great time, and bang on cue, as the lesson ended, all the babies simultaneously fell asleep.

I’m very much honoured that the organisation has invited me to become an ambassador (call me Your Excellency) and I look forward to sharing more adventures with you in future. I originally shared this experience with readers of my column in the publication Waitrose Weekend, and I was delighted to see a Sponsors’ board in the Community Cookery School showing that Waitrose & Partners were among the generous supporters who contributed funding to this very worthwhile initiative. Warm thanks to the lovely team at Westbank Community Health and Care for asking me along. I’m already looking forward to my next visit.” 

If you would like to find out more about Westbank’s Community Cookery School or would consider volunteering or supporting our charity by making a donation or legacy, please visit our website www.westbank.org.uk