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Redwood Ward’s Community Meals go down a treat

Service users on Cygnet Hospital Taunton’s Redwood Ward have been treating staff and their fellow service users to a weekly community meal.

The ward used to have a community meal for service users and staff to eat together but this was prepared by the hospital’s catering team. Whilst working on a new skills based timetable with the Occupational Therapy team, service users identified the need to be able to cook meals both for themselves and for other people once they are discharged back into the community.

It was then decided that a group of service users would take charge of the weekly community meal. The planning for the week’s meal begins on a Monday with service users researching healthy meals, choose what is going to be on the menu later in the week and then researching the necessary budget.

“I feel its gonna help me when I am going home. I find the staff and the patients friendly and supportive and I have learnt how to cook healthy meals.”Service user, Redwood Ward

On Tuesday there is a shopping trip to the local supermarket to buy the necessary ingredients. On Wednesday the meal is cooked, with the hospital’s chef on hand to provide advice if needed. The meal is then served up to all service users and staff.

“I am more independent in cooking and I have got the skills for cooking now for the community. The staff are supportive.”Service user, Redwood Ward

The whole Redwood staff team get together for the weekly meal including nurses, therapists, ward doctors, kitchen staff, support workers and even the independent Mental Health Advocate. The meals have proved to be very popular and a great way to build relationships between staff and service users.

“I think it is fabulous that the service users do the cooking. It does amazing things for their confidence and for the ward spirit in general.”Mark Methley, Speech and Language Therapist

Redwood Ward provides a seven bed high dependency complex care service for men with learning disabilities and complex mental health needs.

Find out more about Redwood Ward >>

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