Mandy helps young Castlebrae chefs cook for the community

Pupils from Castlebrae Community High School have been giving back to their local community this week by delivering food parcels to elderly and vulnerable residents in the area.

Pupils of the school, who have been allowed to attend during lockdown, have teamed up with Edinburgh College Hospitality curriculum leader Mandy Purdie and local charity Kids in the Street (KITS) to plan, prepare, cook and deliver 50 meals to residents nearby the school.

Mandy teaches Cookery and Hospitality to S1-3 pupils at Castlebrae on a weekly basis, covering skills including: preparing and cooking food; basic food hygiene and ways to avoid food waste.

The project came to life after KITS, a long-term partner charity of the school, was awarded funding from The Weir Trust for food parcels and food vouchers. The school then decided to bring Mandy’s Cookery class and KITS together to give pupils the chance to help those in the local community who require support.

The pupils decided to make traditional mince and tatties and fruit scones and delivered them to elderly and vulnerable residents in the area this week.

The initiative ties in with a month-long Building Resilience programme the school is running with staff and pupils, of which the first theme is ‘Making a Difference’.

Castlebrae pupil Kaiden Armstrong said: “We’re happy to be able to do home economics in schools and help the community, when people might not be making too much money right now.”

“I have been working with Castlebrae pupils for a number of years now, and their commitment and compassion is fantastic to see.

“It’s been fantastic for them to be involved in a project like this which shows them the value of working together, and the value of community and how we should look out for each other – particularly in challenging times.

“We tasked the pupils with planning the menu, preparing and cooking the food, and delivering it alongside KITS – and they have been fantastic throughout, well done to all of them.”

Hospitality Curriculum Leader Mandy Purdie

“This is a wonderful gesture from our students and partners. We are very proud of all pupils involved in supporting our community during this difficult time. Our school vision is Together Everyone Achieves More. Our pupils consistently work hard to go over and above what is expected of them.”

Castlebrae Depute Headteacher John Johnstone

“During a hard time, it has been very rewarding working with these young people to deliver this project. The young people have been very reflective on their work, from the prep, cooking and delivering. They have made a lot of our older community smile and having a wee chat has made a lot of their days – especially for those living alone. We want to continue this and help our kids’ relationships in the community grow. I look forward to being a part of their journey.” 

Kevin Finlay, Kids in the Street (KITS)