Five aspiring chefs have been serving lunch to elderly residents of a sheltered housing scheme in an initiative to develop their employability.

Serving sandwiches and hot soups to 30 residents every Friday afternoon, the Gateshead College learners all have learning difficulties, and are taking part in a work-placement initiative to develop their independence and build their confidence in working with members of the community.

The placement is delivered in partnership with Cambian Dilston College, and job coaches are accompanying the students on their visits to Karbon Homes in County Durham.

“Through the medium of work experience, students are able to develop their interpersonal skills and self-presentation, along with a whole host of other skills which are constantly being shaped and developed for life after college,” said Carli Hayes, one of the students’ job coaches.

“The tenants are delighted with the service and the smiles the young people bring with them,” said Deborah Kennedy, housing support officer for Karbon Homes. “It has become a very popular activity and the residents look forward to their Friday afternoons. The interaction between the generations is truly satisfying.”

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