Epilepsy Waikato Charitable Trust (EWCT) and the Methodist City Action (MCA) have collaborated to produce a cooking course designed for people with epilepsy and for those with other disabilities.

It ran successfully last year and is operating again this year on Tuesdays from 9.30-11.30am at The Methodist Centre, London Street, Hamilton.

Chef/tutor Jen Hobson is New Zealand/Swiss trained and was previously a cooking tutor at Wintec.

MCA manager Catherine Hodges said "it is wonderful to see so many people enjoying this cooking course and we are delighted to help EWCT's clients. They learn new cooking skills, extend their repertoire of recipes, develop confidence in the kitchen, and make new friends. It is a fun place to be."

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Catherine and Maria Lowe, epilepsy advisor for EWCT, saw a need in the community to help people with epilepsy.

"For someone with epilepsy, cooking can create challenges in the kitchen and this course is about cooking safely whilst enjoying the company of others," said Maria.

"Community support is critical in helping people with epilepsy. Typically people with epilepsy and their families face an array of challenges to daily living that vary with the severity and nature of the disorder. Providing the cooking course and other activities is EWCT's way of helping to improve the quality of life for people with epilepsy.

"Over time we would like to extend that collaboration and range of services available to people living with the epilepsy condition".

To help epilepsy awareness, EWCT and MCA are running a series of public talks as well as the cooking classes. The next talk is on Friday, July 3 at 9-11am at the MCA Centre in London St.

The talk, to be presented by Maria Lowe, is entitled "Learning about epilepsy, the epilepsy burden, and self-management".

The talk will help people with epilepsy and others who wish to know more about the condition to help break down preconceived stigmas and barriers. For further information about the talk, or if people with epilepsy want to enrol in the cooking course (spaces are limited), contact Maria at maria@ewct.org.nz or phone 021 888 293.