Walsall youngsters serve up a treat
Young chefs from Walsall have been given the chance to serve up something good to VIPs as part of a graduation banquet after spending a week learning about healthy eating and nutrition.
The 15 youngsters were taking part in a special Summer Holidays, Activities and Food programme organised by registered charity Lakis Greek Kitchen in partnership with Walsall Council.
The charity aims to work with young people in the community to address well-being, health and qualities, food poverty and social cohesion. It aims to inspire children to cook and to understand the benefits of healthy food.
One of the programme being offered for the very first time is a food school which is being run from King Charles Primary School.
Schoolchildren aged from 11 to 15-year-olds have been the first cohort to learn life-skills in the kitchen under the guidance of Harry King, an expert in nutrition and mentoring of elite athletes, and Zena Weeks, who is a chef who has also worked with top athletes.
The programme is being run over three weeks with 15 children taking part.
This week will include eight to 11-year-olds and the following week 11 to 15-year-olds again.
Jennie Dalton, aged 44, from Walsall, is the summer co-ordinator of the programme for Lakis Greek Kitchen, and also works in educational welfare with Walsall Council.
She said: "The idea is that the young people learn from the programme, entitled Dishes of Change, and about food from the Commonwealth and get to taste a variety of dishes.
"The programme runs for a total of three weeks with each group spending a week learning about nutrition and how to cook healthy meals for themselves and their families.
"At the end of each week they serve up food for VIPs including the Mayor of Walsall councillor Rose Burley and Panikos Panaylotou, the charity's chief executive as well as their families and other guests.
"They receive graduation certificates presented by the Mayor and hopefully will go on to use the the knowledge about nutrition and healthy eating throughout their lives.
"This is the first year that the food kitchen has been introduced and it is proving a hit with the youngsters taking part."