Homeless charity Salford Loaves and Fishes has helped a Salford man develop life skills after being in prison.

The charity’s cookery club has helped ex-convict Neil Twist learn how to cook healthy meals when before, he admitted to relying on ready meals.

He felt as though Bolton prison did not help him learn to live back on the outside.

He said: “I’ve been in prison 18 years; I have lost life skills. Probation is used to provide these skills like basic cooking skills and basic budgeting.

“But those schemes are now hard to get onto and waiting lists are long.”

Members of the club get a slow cooker and pan alongside weekly recipe ideas and ingredients.

Image credit: Jonathan Billings

The scheme is aimed at people like Neil who have recently moved into their own place

He said: “It’s one of those services in Salford that’s top of the range. In other places, you don’t really see stuff like this.

“Through the club, I’d love to learn how to make a Sunday roast.”

He added: “I’ve done university courses in prison which is good but life skills like cooking are invaluable really.”

The charity focuses on helping its members regain their independence by learning how to cook freshly prepared meals.

Loaves and Fishes believe this is better than just providing people with food parcels.


Jonathan Billings, CEO of the charity said: “We’ve got to start looking at the reasons of why people are needing food parcels and trying to address that.

“Really, we want to get to a place with all our clients and people who are using our services where they don’t need food parcels.”

Members of the club can learn how to make anything from a spaghetti Bolognese to a Thai green curry.

The charity also offers an employability day on Wednesdays and an IT course on Thursdays.

Anyone interested in the groups should email j.billings@salfordloavesandfishes.org.uk

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