A SELECTION of culinary delights were on the menu when a group of young people cooked a three-course meal for guests and dignitaries, at Nunsthorpe & Bradley Park Family Hub. Part of a programme funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), run by CatZero Humber, the group of unemployed 18-25-year-olds wowed visitors with their new cooking skills.
Since mid-January, the 14 young people have attended the new, 12-week programme, run mainly from CatZero’s Grimsby office, in The Hub at Freeman Street Market. Participants have so far taken part in tree planting at the TCV project in Scunthorpe, rock climbing, a Humber Bridge outdoor challenge, and a focus session for CV writing and interview skills.
CatZero’s PCC programme Personal Development Team member Louise Bell said: “The overall aim of the programme is to boost the confidence of the participants, helping to get them motivated, and introducing them to different perspectives and new ideas. Along with the work they will undertake to improve their CVs and interview techniques, the overall programme them more employable in the future.
“The café day allows the participants to work together as a team, cook some fabulous food, which is cooked from scratch, it allows them to work in a different environment than they are use to, and have a fabulous time doing it!”
Guests included Mayor of the Borough of North East Lincolnshire, Cllr Stephen Beasant, Police and Crime Commissioner Jonathan Evison, Cllr Margaret Cracknell, Locality Specialist Lead for Locality 4 Debbie Burres, NELC Head of Communication and Customer Service Michelle Lalor, and NELC Head of Early Help Matt Clayton.
The menu consisted of a tomato soup and cream starter, a choice of a chickpea vegan curry main or shepherd’s pie, and an apple pie dessert, or chocolate brownie.
Mayor Cllr Beasant said: “It has been marvellous, they have laid on something really special. It’s always lovely to come to a CatZero event, and everyone has done an amazing job!”
Throughout the event, the kitchen was a hive of activity, with every young person seemingly happy with their work, each looking forward to showing off new culinary skills and proud of the food they had made. The group had created the menu entirely themselves, seeking suitable recipes before planning a schedule to ensure everything ran as smoothly as possible. They each had a role, whether cooking, preparing or front of house service.
Participant James Jackson said: “I made the brownie, and I diced some vegetables! I have made some friends so far on the programme and I am hoping that I will get more confidence and learn new skills for work in the future.”
Coming to see the progress of the participants, and enjoy the event, Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Jonathan Evison commented: “I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was really inspiring to see young people who perhaps have never done this sort of thing before cook an excellent meal! I thought the apple crumble was outstanding, and I am a bit of a connoisseur of apple crumbles!
“Well done to everybody, and well done to CatZero – long may they continue to do this work.”
Dave Bertholini, CatZero CEO, finished: “What a fantastic café day today, the young people were amazing, and the food, not kidding, was restaurant quality! It is also great to welcome so many partners, who have come to see these young people and their development with CatZero.”