Bishop Gilpin primary school in Wimbledon has published a school cook book which celebrates a wonderful collection of family recipes from around the world. Not only has the book been a huge hit amongst the BG school community with sales boosting PTA fundraising, but it has also caught the eye of supermarket giant Sainsbury’s.
Currently on sale in five Sainsbury’s stores across Merton, the cook book, with its hardback cover, stitched binding, beautiful illustrations and professional photography, doesn’t look out of place sitting next to the latest Jamie Oliver offering. “We didn’t want to produce a book which would just get shoved to the back of the cupboard and not get used,” explained Editor Mel Barrett. “We wanted to make it a really practical resource, which meant providing pictures where possible to illustrate the recipes. We are blessed to have a few parents at the school who are professional photographers, and also a brilliant graphic designer, Basia Pacześna-Vercueil, who created the stunning visuals. Thankfully they were happy to give up their time for free.” The team also invited parents to take snaps and send them in with their recipes, incentivising them with prizes for the best photos.
Over 150 recipes came flooding in and 50 families took accompanying photos, many of which feature in the book. To avoid duplicates,the team decided to structure the book around the three terms of the school year, and asked for recipes to be submitted across different categories. “As busy families, we all face similar cooking challenges”, said Barrett. “At certain times of the year, for example the Christmas party season, we have crowds to feed; in the colder months we gravitate towards warming dishes; later in the year we want ideas for picnics and children’s lunch boxes. And there are plenty of moments, such as the dreaded school cake sale, when we need to grapple with a cake tin and electric whisk. We thought it made sense to pool our expertise, and being a London school – our families come from over 35 different countries; 27% of our pupils do not have English as their first language – we were privileged to be able to cast our net around the world for inspiration.”
The involvement of the wider business community was key to the success of the project. Prizes for the photography competition were donated by Wimbledon Maplins and Riverford Organics; display materials by art shop Fielders. Communication to the school was made much more effective with glossy materials provided free of charge by local corporate printing firm, Purbrooks, and London printers F.E. Burman. Hamptons in Wimbledon Village let the team use their office printer to churn out proofreading copies. And when some help was needed with boosting sales, in stepped Sainsbury’s. Denis Young, the Store Manager at Sainsbury’s, Wimbledon, said: “We were impressed by how attractively designed and professionally produced this cook book is and were delighted to be involved with the project. I’m sure it will provide a springboard for further co-operation with Bishop Gilpin, particularly in the area of food education and nutrition.”
Head teacher Matt Ball commented: “The book is testament to what can be achieved when the wider community works together. We are extremely grateful to all the contributors and to Sainsbury’s in particular. We look forward to exploring other ways of working together, for example raising awareness of healthy eating and exercise amongst our children through their inspiring Active Kids Campaign.”
Get yours from Sainsbury Wimbledon on Worple Road now!