Residents at HC-One’s Hinckley Park Care Home in Hinckley, Leicestershire, have realised their ambition of a lifetime and published their own cookbook.

The cookbook called ‘Park’s Pantries’, features recipes provided by fourteen residents living at Hinckley Park Care Home, which provides nursing and residential care. It is described as ‘a collection of recipes to warm your soul’ and includes a range of delicious dishes such as ‘Betty C’s Fish Pie’, ‘Christine’s Toad in the Hole’ and ‘Shelley’s Sweet N Sour Pork’. Staff at the care home have also contributed some of their favourite meal options.

The book was the brainchild of Hinckley Park’s Wellbeing Coordinator, Rachael Gilliver, who runs her own publishing company alongside her role of helping look after residents living at the care home.

Speaking at the launch of ‘Park’s Pantries’, Rachael Gilliver, Wellbeing Coordinator at Hinckley Park Care Home, said:

“Apparently everyone has at least one book in them, and when one of our residents mentioned they would love to have a book published but had no idea how to go about it, I and other team members started thinking about helping them making their wish come true.

“Other residents talked about how much they would like to pass on their recipes, and how being published in a book would be leaving a legacy to their children and grandchildren.

“Thanks to technology, publishing has become a lot easier in recent years. Before I started working at Hinckley Park I had worked for a number of traditional publishers, and in 2018, I set up Roswell Publishing to help people who wanted to self-publish. I was very well placed to help our residents’ wishes come true.”

As well as being available to buy from Amazon, a copy of ‘Parks Pantries’ will be sent to the British Library for archiving and preservation. This will ensure that future generations will have access to the information and knowledge contained in the cookbook which may otherwise have been lost.

Some of the residents whose recipes are featured in ‘Park’s Pantries’ were also at the book’s launch and couldn’t hide their pleasure and pride in what they had achieved.

Hinckley Park Care Home resident, Betty Truelove, who provided a recipe for Spanish chicken for the cookbook, commented:

“I never thought that I would see my name in print.” 

Meanwhile, Betty Calnan, resident at Hinckley Park Care Home, whose fish pie recipe is featured in the cookbook, stated: 

“Seeing my name in print makes me feel like I belong in this world and that I’m leaving something behind.”

 Resident at Hinckley Park Care Home, Barbara Allen, whose dessert recipes are included in the cookbook, said:

“This book is leaving a legacy behind for future generations of cooks. None of us know who’s going to be making our dishes in ten, twenty, or even a hundred years from now!” 

Resident Shelley Sharland, whose recipe for sweet ad sour pork appears first in the cookbook collection, stated:

“It’s out of this world to think that my name is in a book! I never thought that it would happen.”

David Minogue, Home Manager at Hinckley Park Care Home, commented:

 “We are incredibly proud of our residents for publishing this recipe book, it really is quite a remarkable achievement. A big well done to Rachael for helping our residents make their dreams come true.

“The recipes are delicious and very easy to follow, and we’ve even passed some copies of the book on to our fantastic kitchen team who will be cooking some of the recipes for our residents to sample. Everyone is really looking forward to it!”