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Rugby League World Cookbook’ created by people with learning disabilities

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A cookbook created by people who access care and support to celebrate the cuisines of nations that participated at the Rugby League World Cup 2021 has launched today. The stunning publication, which is available to download for free here, was officially unveiled at a special celebration event that brought together the participants who created the recipes, alongside BBC and Premier Sports presenter Ross Fiddes.

The book has been developed by people supported by national social care charity Community Integrated Care, who created their own meals inspired by the cultures and national dishes of teams participating in the recent tournament. Authored through participating a special cookery educational programme, which built independent living skills, this is a publication with a purpose.

With 13 recipes inspired by nation’s that competed at the tournament last month, including a ‘Sizzling Spanish Paella’, ‘Lebanese Banana Bread’ and ‘Australian Prawn Skewers’, the project has made a significant difference to people’s lives, inspiring people with learning disabilities to develop kitchen skills and achieve a dream of becoming published in a cookbook. With photographic examples, easy-to-follow methods, and top tips to promote independence in the kitchen, the cookbook is specially designed to be accessible to all.

The book is being gifted for free by Community Integrated Care to anyone who wishes to download a copy from this link in recognition of the financial pressures that families are facing currently.

This unique project was an important part of a ground-breaking inclusive volunteering partnership between Community Integrated Care, Sport England, and the Rugby League World Cup 2021. 350 people with support needs have engaged in specialist mentoring and volunteering placements with the tournament, designed around their personal interests.

Brian Ganley, who is supported by the charity, contributed the ‘Jamaican Jerk Chicken’ recipe and shared his thoughts on his achievements, saying;

I can’t believe I’m following the footsteps of famous chefs like Jamie Oliver and Delia Smith, by being published in a cookbook! I love to make meals and I have enjoyed learning new skills in the kitchen. To see my name in the Rugby League World Cook book is a special moment for me. I feel so proud knowing that lots of people will download the book and try my recipe.

Ross Fiddes, spoke of his delight at hosting the book launch event, saying;

Once again, I’m absolutely blown away by the skills and talents of the Inclusive Volunteers at Community Integrated Care. I’m known for ‘Ross’ Ratings’, where I share my reviews of the food on offer in stadiums’ across the country, so it seemed like the perfect fit for me to host the ‘Rugby League World Cook’ official launch!

Everyone who’s contributed to the project should be so proud of what they’ve achieved. I’ve tried some of the recipes and they are delicious. I hope that the rugby league community gets behind this project, and makes the participants feel proud by downloading their free publication.

John Hughes, Director of Partnerships and Communities at Community Integrated Care, says

The creation of an accessible cookbook is a remarkable achievement that we are delighted to celebrate and share with the rugby league community and beyond. Whether it was exploring an existing passion for cooking and building new skills, or total beginners starting out to improve their confidence in the kitchen, this simple project has had a life-changing impact.

I would like to thank the Rugby League World Cup and Sport England for their support, and Ross for so generously giving his time to celebrate the work of our amazing volunteers.

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