St Peter's 13-18
We spoke to our pupils from the Lower Sixth Young Enterprise Group on how far they have come since starting up their Social Enterprise ‘Caring Through Cooking’ Cookbook and the journey they have progressed on.
The main focus of the cookbook is to bring generations together after lockdown through cooking. The cookbook is also designed to enable families of people affected by Dementia-related diseases to partake in the simple act of cooking.
The original idea for a cookbook was Lucy's. Lucy made a print out cookbook for her gran when she was diagnosed with Dementia to help her stay involved in one of her favourite aspect of life - cooking.
Lucy said “We have done a lot in the community as a social enterprise in trying to change the way that society reacts to the disease. I think that has had a huge effect, and this shows in how many books we have sold. I think it is a lot bigger than I ever could have anticipated when I made a small book for my granny.”
The book was originally printed out and stapled together, but now the book is in a binder with wipe proof paper which makes it easier for cooking and cleaning.
There are 20 people in the business and 10 board of directors. Lucy, the Managing Director, says she enjoys the size of the group because they have more ideas to share. In their first meeting, each member presented on a position they wanted in the company and why. They then voted democratically.
Alex, Head of Marketing, said that to build the brand they wanted to make the logo as simple and effective as possible. Once they had built their online presence the group contacted Alzheimer's Research UK and this got their story into the York Press. Alex believes this to have been their best accomplishment so far.
The group has sold 42 book so far. Natasha, Head of Sales, said they will need another print run soon!
Harry and Joe are the main cooks, when asked for their favourite recipes Joe said "The chicken alfredo is delicious. But for a Friday night, with the chicken kiev and chips, you can’t go wrong." Harry's favourite dish is mac and cheese, which he said is "scrumptious!"
To keep up communication, every week a small group come together and set an agenda for their next tasks and what they want to progress in. Then the whole team of 20 go through it step by step and delegate who is doing what and how to reach their future targets.
Over lockdown, the team continued to meet on Zoom and Microsoft Teams. During this time they focused on increasing their online presence to keep up communication with their audiences. This included the migration to audiobook sales.
When asked what they have learnt about themselves this is how the team responded:
“I have learnt that it’s important to communicate in business so that everyone has a clear goal. On a personal level, I’ve learnt that by throwing yourself in you are more likely to succeed. You need to put the time and effort in. It will be well worth it in the end.” - Joe, Main Chef
"It was something completely new for me, I’ve learnt about the different sectors of a company and I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with the right people” - Harry, Main Chef
“Caring through cooking has helped me decide what I want to do with my future. I now know, through the Young Enterprise project, that marketing is what I want to do.” - Alex, Head of Marketing
“I’ve learnt more about people and the power of persuasion. I’ve managed to develop myself as the brand has developed. Hopefully, we will go from strength to strength" - Natasha, Head of Sales
“I’ve learnt the amount of hard work you put into products. Our first prototype was a great moment, knowing that together as a team we created it" - Melisa, Managing Director
“To think 4 months ago how far we have come, how much work we have put in. All 20 of us working together” - Lucy, Managing Director
When asked for their favourite moment there was a unanimous agreement that the carol singing in December in the local care homes across York was a highlight for the group. They enjoyed spreading awareness of the book and bringing joy to locals.
Mr Shread, who co-ordinates the Young Enterprise group, said: "I am most proud of the confidence the whole group have gained. I’ve seen real growth and entrepreneurial spirit, I have been really impressed. I think they will own or run a company themselves in the future."
Natasha, Head of Sales, is confident the group will win the competition.
A huge well done to the Young Enterprise group and everything they have achieved. Their business progression and life skill development in the last few months has been inspiring.
The winners will be announced in June.
Follow this link to support those with Alzheimer's and support our Young Entrepreneurs:
You can follow the Young Enterprise Group on Instagram on @Caringthroughcooking
Listen to the full podcast here.