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Young people from Carlisle Youth Zone cooked up a storm in the kitchen recently after they scooped two high profile awards at national ceremonies.
Tanya Light, Amy Kingston and Jade Upex, all 16 years of age, were joined by Connor Tyson, 18,
in forming the ‘Baked Bean Project’ which progressed to cooking for young mums and homeless people as well as creating a printed cook book!
Their efforts have been rewarded after the young people won the Cumbria University’s Golden Apple award for Community Involvement as well as the People’s Prize at the Money for Life Challenge run by Lloyds Banking Group who have since granted the project £1000 to continue its great work.
The project saw the young people research the average income of a family of four where no one in the household was in work. The group learnt about money management and cooking skills and created takeaway meals on a budget of less than £1.50 per meal.
The project ran over 8 weeks and as well as cooking, the group would meet to edit the photos and video footage that was taken during the cooking sessions in order to work on creating a cook book ready to hand out during the final week.
During the final week the young people took over the café at Carlisle Youth Zone and served up a Chinese takeaway night to highlight the work they had been doing this was attended by 50 young people.
They also ran a session with a young mums group teaching them the skills they had learnt both in the kitchen and around budgeting for healthy meals. The final activity saw the group cook their takeaway food for 38 homeless people at the Salvation Army drop in lunch which was very well received.
Member of the group, Tanya Light commented on the success of the programme: “I’m so proud of myself. I just love helping other people.”
Connor Tyson said: “It’s been really good. I’m thinking about going on to do a catering course.”
You can find out more about Carlisle Youth Zone by visiting http://www.carlisleyouthzone.org/