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Camaraderie in the Kitchen Zoom cookoff

Camaraderie in the Kitchen Zoom cookoff

Staffvetting.com is a quality (NSi Gold Accredited) background employee screening provider for Businesses, Organisations and Charities providing a vast range of screening services including DBS checks.

The impact of restrictions due to COVID-19 had meant that it has been 10 months of working from home in North Tyneside and Staff were feeling the effects of the general social decline. We all felt the existing way of spending our social time together, being our weekly Thursday Coffee catchups and Friday night zoom social chats, just wasn’t the same as seeing each other in the flesh. The current wellbeing campaign we were running at the time was ‘I am looking after me and nourishing my body’ and with that in mind we decided on no better way to connect than with cooking.

After a quick search online of what a successful zoom cookoff looks like: ‘seal the date and decide the recipe’ resulted in the date locked and the winning vote of Broccoli, Cashew & Halloumi curry with the option to add chicken to cover all taste buds.

With the impending timeframe we didn’t envisage a few challenges of not being able to simply order a recipe box as it wouldn’t arrive in time to everyone’s home around North Tyneside and second, they didn’t have that exact recipe. The danger of getting an idea in your head first.

The next challenge of searching some bare shelving and subsequently a visit to all 4 supermarket in North Tyneside; Morrisons, Sainsburys, Aldi and Co-opp to make up the required ingredients. Prep day slipped away but finally the food boxes were packed included a few leaflets of our campaign, our campaign slogan fridge magnet pictured below and not forgetting the recipe. This rolled into another day of the road less travelled by personally hand delivering the food boxes to our ‘unseen’ colleagues.

Getting together was about being inclusive and overcoming any of that overused term ‘restrictions’ meeting everyone where they were at, sharing each other’s realities literally to the spice racks, albeit some spice jealousy going on. One colleague’s boyfriend was a chef and gave us top tips including the much-needed advice on how to cook the rice to perfection. Others dressed in chef hats, and some watched on commenting by the sidelines with good reasons not to be cooking on the night, whom, did go on and make this dish in their own time and share pictures and feedback. It was a tasty thumb’s up by all.

By taking time for each other we were well rewarded with a sense of unity, embracing a challenge & bonding with colleges and their families in in a new way.  In 2020 as part of our stress campaign We explored ‘quality of our relationships’ and what a meaningful relationship is when covering our stress campaign when completing the Bronze award in 2020.

Here is what some of our colleagues had to say about the cook off.

“Excellent experience, which was effortless and so enjoyable, great to use new ingredients and create a new dish. thoroughly enjoyed by the whole house!! “

“I did enjoy our cook off experience, not only because the food came out amazing but also because it gave us a chance to do something together, even if we were separate”

“Re the cook off…. we loved it! it was great getting together to cook together – although my internet wasn’t working properly, we loved it and loved the food!”

At staffvetting.com we seek out strategic ways to enhance the interactions with those around us from employees, customers, suppliers, and partners by a simple morning team brief platform to share ideas which is where the cook-off started from.

We continue to share best practices with Maureen from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, who supports us through the Better Health at Work programme. For information on joining the programme, contact Maureen Turner, Health Improvement Practitioner Specialist, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust on 0191 270 4514 or visit www.betterhealthatworkne.org




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