Young People Shop and Save

Four young people have learnt how to shop on a budget and cook different meals.

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The Volunteer Centre North Warwickshire welcomed the youngsters from the Talent Match Coventry and Warwickshire programme on their four week cooking course. It has being put together to give people the chance to learn how to make the most of their money and food.

The course took place using the kitchen belonging to the White Hart Tea Room – a volunteer run project based at the centre in Atherstone. The youngsters come from different backgrounds and are on the programme to help them find work.

Bernie is currently unemployed. She heard about the cooking through her Talent Match mentor Chloe. She says “I thought I would give it a go. I have learnt how to manage my money and shop on a budget, as well as learning how to cook using different ingredients. I have also gained confidence and skills and a food hygiene certificate. I have enjoyed every moment of it.”

Talent Match is a project designed to help 18-24 year olds from Coventry, Nuneaton and North Warwickshire who have limited or no paid work experience in the last year. It also helps them to explore their career options and overcome barriers to employment.

Centre Manager Martin Horner said “It is great that we can work in partnership with Talent Match. Our tea room is a community run venture and was pleased to welcome the young people to make use of the equipment”

The young people were guided by one of the centre’s volunteers.  Janet Gill has been volunteering for nearly a year and has a professional catering background.  She helped the participants cook a chicken casserole and a fruit crumble.

Martin says “We are grateful to Janet for helping us out with her expertise. She got on really well with the young people and was able to give them some valuable life skills when it comes to making your money go further when thinking about what to eat.”

Each week the young people were accompanied by their mentor Chloe Simpson. She says “The course went amazingly. The young people bonded really well with a team and with Janet. I feel their confidence has really grown. It is one of the best courses I have attended; it was informal and not stressful at all”

Twenty five year old Marie also enjoyed her time on the course. She says “Since joining the project I have gained a certificate for my portfolio. I have also learned useful things about food and hygiene that I would never have picked up on. I was also taught how to choose healthier and cheaper options when shopping.”

For more information about the Volunteer Centre’s cooking courses and volunteering you can give Martin a ring on 01827 717073 or visit www.vcnw.org.uk.

If you are a young person who could benefit from the Talent Match programme, give Chloe a ring on 02476 321950 or go to www.rightstepcareers.org.uk.