Foundation students from Rotherham College have been working in conjunction with Dinnington Methodist Church to provide a weekly two-course lunch for the elderly. This collaborative partnership has been cooking up a storm for over 13 years, providing valuable skills and experience for foundation students as well as a social event with great food for the guests who look forward to attending each week.
Courtney Smith, a first year Foundation student based at Dinnington Campus, has just started cooking at the weekly lunch club. Courtney said “I’ve loved helping out here and being able to put things into practice I have learnt at College. Whilst I’m at College, I get the opportunity to prepare cakes and drinks for real customers at Café at the Heart, but here at the Methodist Church, I get to focus on main meals and puddings, so it’s been a great way to gain a variety of skills.”
Charlotte Rebori, a fourth year Foundation student, added “I love coming to the Methodist Church every Thursday to cook as I get to work with my friends who are based usually at the Town Centre campus. I don’t normally get to see them, so it’s nice when we are all having fun working together.
“As well as cooking for the guests, we get to welcome and serve them, so it’s giving us lots of experience of working in a real catering environment.”
Lynne Percival, Learning Support Assistant, said “the collaboration between Rotherham College and Dinnington Methodist Church couldn’t be any more important. Not only does it give our students valuable catering and hospitality skills and a thorough understanding regarding kitchen hygiene and safety standards, but they gain lots of confidence and are able to develop their communication skills as part of working in a team.
“One of our previous Foundation students who used to cook at the lunch club, has recently gone on to gain a job with Marks & Spencer’s catering team. It’s inspiring for all the other students to see what they can go on to accomplish.”
Graham Thomas, Club Co-ordinator at Dinnington Methodist Church, said “the idea of the lunch club came about when I was studying at Dinnington Campus over 13 years ago. I saw a need for elderly people in the area to have an opportunity to socialise on a regular basis.
“I created the lunch club at the Methodist Church in conjunction with the College and it has flourished ever since. The guests love coming here every week and it’s fantastic to see students work here and gain valuable skills and experience along the way. We couldn’t do what we do without the continued support of Rotherham College.”