Centre: Jamie’s Ministry of Food Ipswich

Location: Ipswich, Queensland

Ipswich Region Home Schoolers have organised several wonderful groups of students to learn to cook from scratch at Jamie’s Ministry of Food in Ipswich. The Ipswich Region Home Schoolers are a supportive and encouraging community who seek activities in the local area which are educational, have a focus on social inclusion and interaction with fellow home-schooled children.
The group contact, Sarah participated in a Jamie’s Ministry of Food cooking course at Ipswich in 2013 with the HAPI Program and wanted her children to take part as soon as they turned 12. Sarah was keen to further their cooking skills and meet other students in the local home schooler’s network. Sarah spread the word to the Ipswich Region Home Schoolers community and quickly organised the first group to attend the 7-week program. The students enjoyed the Jamie’s Ministry of Food program so much that Sarah booked the Monday 1pm class continuously for 6 months.
Some of the students had learning difficulties and disability needs were discussed in detail prior to the course. Parents and guardians were able to stay during the classes to help supervise but often weren’t required. Food Trainers prepared some ingredients for busier classes to ensure everyone could complete the tasks and allow additional time to encourage those with learning difficulties. Our wonderful volunteers also offered support and assistance when required.


Teamwork was a major component of each class, particularly the cleaning and washing up at the end of class. Sarah arranged for the cleaning jobs to be delegated randomly with printed cards, this aided the clean and pack up process to run smoothly and efficiently. Jamie’s Ministry of Food is happy to work closely with each group to ensure everyone can enjoy and complete the program.

Social Inclusion and Confidence

Parents of the students have found that their children’s confidence has improved significantly, both in their cooking skills and socially. The children are more willing to try new foods, learn skills and engage in new activities.

Parents are also receiving a helping hand in the kitchen at home from some of the children who had previously never shown any interest in cooking. Parents are enjoying their child’s new confidence in the kitchen, preparing meals together and enjoying quality family time while they cook and eat together.

Parent Feedback

Parent feedback has indicated that confidence has been the most significant growth and overwhelming positive to come out of the program. Parents were thrilled to watch the social interactions between their children and observing each new course bond as a group. Sarah continued the Jamie’s Ministry of Food program as part of their learning each term “We have loved it and are very sad it’s ending. We would love for the Jamie’s Ministry of Food program to be a 7 week course every term”.
Participant Feedback from Akasha and Holly