I enjoy working at Human Concern Be-LeeF! because many of the clients have had bad experiences of clinics and with patience and understanding they learn to open up and trust again within a safe environment.
Often food is the scariest part of their process, because they feel they have no control when they come to Human Concern Be-LeeF! over what food they eat, this is far from the truth as we take time to explain the dishes and how we have cooked them, during their stay they have the chance to explore once again their love of food with the 'Think Outside the box' box which is explained to them in week one where they can write requests for dishes they would like to try during their stay and why they want to eat this.
Working together with the chefs in the kitchen at the weekend allows them to interact with food in a positive therapeutic way, no one is excluded from any task.
With so many different eating locations around the quinta we like to experiment with picnics in the grounds of in the tree house overlooking glorious countryside. Who wouldn’t enjoy a picnic in such wonderful and peaceful surroundings?
What do the clients learn from us at Be-leeF!, well I think that they learn to enjoy life again, that food is not an enemy and it brings people together.
They learn new skills in food preparation without the use of a scale and without constantly looking at the packaging for calorie content as this is something we discourage from all activities and if they do we challenge that behaviour.
The clients help with the plates in the second week of their stay leading up to putting the food on the table for them to help themselves. Thinking about portion size for themselves without the guidance of therapists but with the encouragement of each other.
My favorite part of the process is dressing a table for an eating moment something I also encourage them to do when they are home to make it an environment they want to be in rather than somewhere they have to be.
When we make a table I encourage the clients to write inspirational notes to put under the plates for each other.