Girls serve up a community dish

St Aidan's pupils Kaytlin Marsden and Becky Brindle set the tables for lunch at The Willows.
St Aidan's pupils Kaytlin Marsden and Becky Brindle set the tables for lunch at The Willows.

Two pupils from St Aidan’s Technology College in Preesall are doing their bit to help in the local community.

Kaytlin Marsden and Rebecca Brindle are helping out in the community cafe at The Willows rest home near the school, assisting in preparing and serving meals to the community and house-bound residents.

Apart from helping others, it is adding valuable work experience and qualification to their CVs at the same time.

The cafe was recently refurbished with funding from Age UK and is open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to provide teas, coffees and a hot lunch to the whole community.

Residents have a rota where they take turns to prepare the food and drinks.

It is also used for meetings and as a social area.

Rebecca and Kaytlin, who are both 13, have been volunteering at the centre for two weeks and are proving to be a great help.

Residents Jenny Whitmore and Lilian Makin are the chefs on a Tuesday and are pleased that the girls are there to help.

Lilian said: “It is nice to have young people around.

“The girls are learning quickly and making friends with the residents.”

Among their tasks for the day, they set the tables ready for lunch, meet and greet residents who come in, make hot drinks and serve meals.

They also deliver meals to residents in their accommodation.

Kaytlin said: “I am really enjoying this. It is good work experience for me and is something that I will be able to put on my CV and college applications to show that I have helped in the community.”

Rebecca said: “I enjoy working in the cafe. It is nice to chat to the residents and I am enjoying the experience.”

Both girls are going to be working towards a certificate in food hygiene and hope this will help them with finding work after they leave school. This is the latest in a number of events that students and residents at The Willows have shared in the last 12 months.

Karen Smith, assistant special educational needs coordinator, who arranged the sessions, said: “This is a fantastic facility and opportunity for our students to work cohesively with older members of their local community. The experience will give them confidence and an example of working life and the real world. Both girls and residents of the sheltered housing scheme are enjoying spending time together and learning new skills is a two-way experience.”

Residents Kathleen Samuels, Dorothy Abbott and Kathleen Meadowcroft all enjoyed a meal of gammon, chips and peas served by the girls.