The Grub Club helping older men to build confidence in the kitchen

Cook for Good has been running a pantry on the Priory Green Estate since 2020. 241 members undertake a weekly shop for £3.50, access community meals, cookery classes, and are part of a growing community of neighbours that know and support each other. Yet last year, only 16 members were men.

Who is accessing Cook for Good community?

  • 84% are unemployed, retired or have ill health that prevents them from working
  • 41% struggle to pay for food
  • 65% report feeling isolated

“Making pies is not as difficult as I imagined. Thank you so much to Cook for Good for including me in this amazing course.”

The Grub Club, a project funded by our Golden Grant Makers panel last year, seeks to address this issue by creating a group specifically for older men on the Priory Green Estate. Members include those who are retired, living alone, experiencing the impact of the cost of living crisis, and many who are socially isolated. The men come together to learn cooking skills and gain confidence – including how to get the best out of using the pantry, how to batch cook, and how to eat healthily on a budget. Every session the participants eat the meal they’ve prepared together, providing a chance to get to know each other, to socialise, and to make connections with neighbours. Last session was Pie Week, and Chef Jeremy got them cooking up chicken and mushroom pie, cottage pie and sausage rolls. See some pictures of their creations here!

“The Grub Club is a group of older men coming together each month to put on a pinny and cook. It breaks down barriers, tackles stereotyping, and gives us men the chance to learn to cook, or cook better. It’s great for our mental health, giving us something to look forward to, and our physical health too. We’re socializing, making new friends, working together and having a laugh; everyone enjoys their time together.”

Help us tackle loneliness and spark joy in Islington

Islington is facing a loneliness crisis – can you share a message of hope and kindness? Whether you’re an Islington resident, study or work here, or just love our community and borough, please join us in sparking joy. For someone feeling isolated or alone, your kind words can have a big impact.

Images: The Grub Club, Cook for Good in Islington