Avenues Youth Project

Inspiring confidence though cooking

Cooking is one of the most important skills you can teach young people. As well as learning about nutrition, creating meals is a way to take personal responsibility for health and wellbeing. And serving up a delicious, nutritious meal always comes with a great sense of achievement.

Kitchen Skills sessions at the Avenues Youth Project are giving young people the chance to do just that. The 12-week courses are being run by a tutor and chef, with guest sessions from local restaurant owners and staff. Those who want to pursue a career in catering are being supported to gain work experience and take their first steps in the food industry.

  • Our funding will support at least 14 young people aged 15 to 18 to take a kitchen skills training course.
  • The centre’s activities are free to access for its 600 members (aged 8 to 19), and it serves around 14,000 free meals a year after school and during holidays.
  • In 2021, the Avenues Youth Project was awarded the London Youth Gold Quality Mark, in recognition of it meeting the highest standards of youth service provision.

Upgrading the Avenues’ kitchen

Our grant of £25,000 is not only funding the sessions, but also part of the kitchen’s refurbishment – complete with new ovens and more induction hobs. The extra space gained from this means that more young people can be trained and meals for up to 100 people can be cooked per day. The new facilities will also be rented out for commercial use, bringing in extra income for the youth centre.

“We see the kitchen as the heart of the Avenues Youth Project and cooking as one of the most important skills we can teach young people. Teaching young people how to plan, shop and prepare affordable meals can ease the burden on their families. This can create a real sense of achievement in a young person, which can help build self-esteem and confidence that transfer to other areas in life.”

Carol Archibald, Programme Director, Avenues Youth Project

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