23rd Jul, 2017

Youngsters in Redditch get a real taste for area’s diversity

Imogen Buller 17th Jul, 2017

YOUNGSTERS in Redditch have been getting creative and competitive in the kitchen, making delicious dishes from around the globe.

The Batchley Community Centre became a hive of activity as 20 youngsters donned their chef’s whites and whipped up a feast before a panel of judges.

Tasked with designing and preparing a three-course meal from different regions of the world, as well as making menu cards and sourcing ingredients, the teams worked together to promote diversity and good relations between different cultures in the Redditch community.

For the Come Dine With Me-style event, the youngsters from Batchley Support Group’s youth clubs, aged 13 to 17, make a variety of dishes to celebrate the diverse make-up of the groups in the community including English, Polish and West Indian.

With dishes on offer such as Polish stew, Italian pasta, Asian vegetables, English strawberries, and American chocolate chip cookies, the judges had a lot on their plate when it came to choosing a winner.

The impressed judges included owner of Champagne Express Indian Fusion Restaurant Abdul Ullah, Commissioning Manager for Young People Worcestershire County Council, Paul Finnemore, Insp Mark Chappell, Safer Neighborhood team Redditch and Mr and Mrs Flatley representing the parents and staff in from the community youth clubs.

Paul Woolcock, from the Trustees of Batchley Support Group (BSG), said: “We received a grant from the Tudor Trust, for work to encourage good relations between different cultures in Redditch and we asked the young people what they could do to promote this.

“Between us all we decided that a cultural food exchange would celebrate different cultures and promote a sense of identity and unity between the different groups of youngsters and families within the Batchley community.

“Young people from the different clubs were invited to attend a group session in one of our Batchley-based clubs to cook and share their diverse cultural foods, cuisine and family recipes with each other. It was fantastic to see different members of the community opening up, bonding and connecting through their stories of food and family.”

The BSG youth clubs are now receiving an average of 110 young people each week, with an overall membership of 196 and rising.

Visit the website at https://www.facebook.com/BatchleySupportGroup/ to find out more.