Friday Night Out is our partnership project, funded by Islington Giving, Argent and the Arsenal Foundation. It was set up to provide children and young people in the local area the opportunity to play sports on the King’s Cross pitch coached by Arsenal in the Community, and then, on a fortnightly basis, to learn cooking and healthy eating skills with Sadhbh and Rachel at the Skip Garden. By doing so, Friday Night Out supports children and young people to develop healthier attitudes to food and exercise, enabling them to build their skills as well as their confidence and sense of ownership for the decisions they make, particularly about the foods they choose to eat and the activities they participate in.
On the 5th of June, we celebrated the first anniversary of the project, which also coincided with World Environment Day 2015 and the kick off of the Women’s World Cup. To mark the occasion, the children and young people played football and then headed over to the Skip Garden to make healthy salads, followed by a celebration Victoria sponge cake, made using seasonal strawberries.
The month of June also saw the sessions move over to our recently launched Skip Garden Kitchen in our brand new home on Tapper Walk. After the participants were shown around the site and introduced to our chickens, they worked together to create seasonal vegetable kebabs, coupled with a satay dip. This month, they’ll be exploring recipes that help them stay hydrated in this exceptionally hot weather.
Assia, 11, explains that Friday Night Out "doesn't just help you in terms of food, it helps you talk to people, be more confident, show things, share things, be more fit and get active. When people try to be healthy, they do the fitness, but they don't do the food. Here we do the fitness and the food."
She says it’s about "learning together and playing... learning how to be healthy whilst having very nice food, because usually healthy foods aren't that nice, but when you come here, you turn something like apple and celery together you put them into one dish, and that's really nice - different things I didn't know could go into one dish. You learn new things and have new experiences, and get lots of encouraging support from the Arsenal coaches. Also, I've been trying to tell my friends to eat this or that, and they didn't know why it's good for them before. Now they’re interested."