Thursday is fast becoming Bernadette Healy’s favourite day of the week.
Bernadette is a cancer survivor but in recent months she joined Derry’s COSY (Citizens Of Senior Years) Club.
Little under two weeks ago the COSY Club embarked upon a new initiative known as ‘The Scrooge Project’ in the common room in Farland Way.
The aim of the initiative is to provide older people with the skills they need to prepare meals within a financial budget.
“Joining the COSY Club is perhaps one of the best things I have ever done,” smiles Margaret.
“I can’t wait for this Thursday because that’s when I go to ‘The Scrooge Project’. Not only am I learning something there but there are so many lovely people there too.”
‘The Scrooge Project’ is funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All and is facilitated by Margaret Cunningham.
Geraldine Fitzpatrick is COSY Club Development Officer and she explained why they decided to organise ‘The Scrooge Project’.
“Many of our members are widowed or live on their own and cooking for one person can be a challenge at times. The whole aim of ‘The Scrooge Project’ is to show our members that they can enjoy tasty and healthy food at a relatively low cost,” she said.
The most recent session of ‘The Scrooge Project’ took place last Thursday and pea and ham soup and healthy chicken stir-fry were on the menu.
Margaret Cunningham’s son 19 year-old son, Shaun Cunningham, is a COSY Club volunteer and he has helped the COSY Club members to cook healthy omelettes, chicken fajitas and healthy soup.
“I got involved with the Cosy Club through my mum and to be honest with you I absolutely love it.
“I really enjoy working with older people - they are all great craic,” he said.
Rose McCormick is the COSY Club’s Chairperson and she has been involved with the club since its inception 11 years ago.
“The COSY Club is invaluable to older people in Derry. For many of our members it’s the only social outlet they have.
“We organise a variety of different events and activities but ‘The Scrooge Project’ has to be one of the most constructive.
“Many older people live by themselves and cooking can be daunting for some so we wanted to do something that would not only be sociable and enjoyable but we wanted it to beneficial too.
“Obviously the main objective of a lot of what we do is to get people who are on their own at home out of the house and socialising with others but ‘The Scrooge Project’ also provides our members with a new skill and knowledge.”
‘The Scrooge Project’ will run for another four weeks.
If you are interested in joining the COSY Club contact Geraldine Fitzpatrick on 028 71 370 196 or email