VET in Schools students cook up soup kitchen initiative


Bendigo TAFE’s VET in Schools hospitality students are partnering with headspace to support local youth in need through a soup kitchen initiative on 20th May.

The students are currently completing Year 11 and 12 at Castlemaine Secondary College and undertake the Certificate II in Kitchen Operations at Bendigo TAFE as part of the VET in Schools arrangement.

Under the guidance of VET hospitality teacher James Matthews and secondary teacher Caroline Cook, the students will prepare over 200 portions of soup which will be frozen and delivered to headspace Bendigo for youth in need.

“This initiative is an opportunity for our students to use the skills they have developed as part of the course to prepare food for real customers,” said James.

“But more than that, this exercise is really a pay-it-forward endeavour. It reminds students that being socially responsible in the modern age in important and helps them get an understanding of the issues and impacts of people in their age group.”

The students also expressed their delight at an opportunity to use their skills to help others.

Student Mads Chislett said they hoped “to provide some warm, healthy food for young people in need who cannot afford to have good food and the things we take for granted in life.”

Student Chloe Dowler added that “it is good to be able to make use of our time at TAFE to cook for a real life cause, rather than just learning skills and cooking for ourselves.”

Student Jaz Ragg-Hansen also said “I think what headspace does for young people is so great and I’m really glad that we, as young people, are able to be a part of their work.”

With ingredients donated by JL King and Co, PFD Bendigo, Caterworx, Castlemaine Secondary College and Bendigo TAFE, the students have extended their appreciation to all their supporters.

“We approached local businesses who have very kindly donated the ingredients for this project – and we need to thank them for this. We are also very grateful to our teachers James and Caroline, who are making this project possible,” said student Emma Webb.