Women of Alana House publish book of recipes and hope

AN INSPIRATIONAL book of recipes, photography and poetry has been published by women from a Berkshire-based community project. 

Love, Trust, Hope – Cooking To build and strengthen a community has been created during the Covid-19 pandemic by the women of Alana House in Reading with the support of volunteers and staff. Cookery writer and The Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith has written the foreword. 

Proceeds from the sale of the book will contribute to the running costs of Alana House and its community café project. 

Alana House is a community project run by Parents And Children Together (PACT) which uses a holistic approach to support women facing multiple disadvantages. It empowers women to take control of their lives, make informed decisions and improve their life chances.  

PACT’s Head of Communities Kathryn Warner said: “The idea for the book came from the success of Alana House’s community café which opened in 2019. 

“As part of the café project, the women have been trained in barista and baking skills and were taking the lead on running the café each week. 

“Covid-19 pandemic restrictions have meant the café was unable to open, so this book has been a wonderful project for the women to get involved with during lockdown.” 

One of the women involved in creating the book said: “Alana House gives me purpose to go out the house and try new things. 

“I feel it’s a blessing for me to be able to share a part of me in the book, I hope it helps and inspires other people. I feel very grateful to be able to take part in this project.” 

Staff and volunteers at PACT and Alana House supported the project by contributing recipes. The book was designed and illustrated by students at the University of Reading’s department of typography and graphic communication. 

PACT Chief Executive Natausha van Vliet said the book was a labour of love for all those involved. 

“We are all so proud of this book. It reflects the inspirational work that goes on at Alana House every day and represents the creativity, the strength and the positivity of the women who come to improve their lives. 

“My thanks go to everyone who has played a part in producing this book. I would urge anyone who would like to support our work by owning a beautiful book to get themselves a copy and get cooking!”  

The book can be purchased for £12.99 at www.alanahousebook.org

“It is a wonderful thing to see the transformation of a woman, not just in cooking skills, but in attitude, in outlook, in spirit.” – PRUE LEITH