COOKERY courses to help people make healthy meals on a budget are being launched by Keighley Salvation Army.

The Victory Programme, inspired by resourcefulness seen during the Second World War, will teach people simple cooking skills.

It is also hoped the six-week course will help participants gain confidence and make new friends.

The initiative follows the success of Cook and Eat sessions, delivered by the Salvation Army in conjunction with Keighley Healthy Living and the Healthy Growth Initiative, which supported more than 40 families.

Victory Programme co-ordinator Rachel Rowe, who helped run the Cook and Eat sessions, says: "We are really pleased to be launching this programme following the success of Cook and Eat – which saw a fantastic reaction from participants, who really engaged in it and made friends too.

"Meals are mostly one-pot and can be cooked in about 20 minutes. They are fresh and healthy and the cost ends up being a lot cheaper than ready meals and takeaways, because they last longer. The recipes are based around what you get in a food parcel."

Amongst those to benefit from Cook and Eat is 26-year-old Mollie Manley.

She says: "I’ve made new friends and learned new skills, and use the recipes to make my own food at home.

"I know that in my cupboard there is stuff I can use and get creative with.

"It has boosted my confidence. I actually cooked pancakes the other day, and there’s no way I would have done that last year! I absolutely loved it."

Keighley Salvation Army sees an average of 40 to 60 clients use its food bank each week, and it hopes the courses will help regular attendees stuck in food and fuel poverty crisis.

The Victory Programme is supported by Yorkshire Building Society, which is providing volunteers.

Previous courses have been funded by Bradford Council, the West Yorkshire mayor's office and Sainsbury’s Foundation, with support from butchers Barnes of Keighley.

Penny Southgate, Keighley Salvation Army centre manager, says: "It’s great to work with businesses in the town which want to get involved."

And church leader Major Imogen Stewart says the courses also help bring people into the High Street building, which offers a number of community activities and has a growing congregation at Sunday worship.

For more about the Victory Programme and to take part, email, visit or search for Keighley Salvation Army on Facebook.