November 2014: Caring pupils cook meals for homeless

cooking class LSO

A CHANCE meeting in Manchester led a Rossendale high school to help a charity feeding homeless people in the city centre.

Teacher Lisa Southee, who lives in Manchester, spotted a soup kitchen provided by Coffee4Craig.

The charity was set up by Risha Lancaster and wife Fie after Risha’s brother Craig White died in September 2013 while sleeping rough on the streets due to mental health and substance addictions.

Miss Southee was impressed by the work that the charity did and as a result set up the club ‘Care to Cook?’ at Haslingden High School.

She said: “We do such a lot at Haslingden throughout the year and especially leading up to Christmas and through our charity group; our students and their families are always very generous. We mostly raise money for local charities, I thought this was a good cause for us to support.”

The club will be meeting every Monday up to Christmas and to cover the cost of the catering the students are holding a weekly home-made cake sale.

The keen cooks are delighted to join a cookery club with a purpose and staff and students are all contributing ingredients.

“I feel better that the food we are making is going to help someone who is struggling,” said Imogen Leigh, 12. “Knowing that the food I am cooking is going to help someone who may not have a hot meal makes me feel it is the right thing to do.

“I would rather be cooking the food for the charity than just to take home myself.”

Nuala Kearney, 12, said: “When I saw what the club was about I liked the idea of helping others and not just doing something for myself; that’s greedy.

“I felt happy that I had actually helped to make the food for someone who is not as well off as I am.

“I go to Manchester often and have seen homeless people and have given them spare change. Being able to give them food is even better.”

So far they have made chilli con carne, bolognaise, sweet and sour pork and shepherd’s pie.

The club is also collecting sleeping bags, warm clothes, socks, jumpers, scarves and coats and making up two special Christmas hampers for the charity.

Coffee4Craig co-founder Risha Lancaster said: “The food from Rossendale arrived just at the right time because we had almost run out and so it helped us to be able to feed even more people.

“It is important that young people get involved because they are our politicians of the future, our policemen and our workers and it is good that they have empathy and understand these issues because hopefully they will also be the ones who solve this in the future.”