STUDENTS on a hospitality and catering course have been set the challenge of serving up a mouth-watering lunch to mark the official opening of an affordable housing scheme in Darlington.
Young people at Darlington College have been invited to provide the catering for Railway Housing Association when it opens its 73-home scheme in Haughton Road.
They are now busy devising the dishes that will be served in a buffet in the College’s Glasshouse Restaurant following the event on 8th May.
This forms part of a partnership between Railway Housing Association and Darlington College, which started when students on construction and building courses were given hands-on experience during the building of the homes.
This included the restoration of a listed engine shed built in 1844, which was converted into seven two-storey homes. The development, close to the historic 1825 Darlington to Stockton Railway, also includes one-bedroom apartments, two-bedroom bungalows and two and three-bedroom houses.
Following the official opening, which will be carried out by BBC Look North presenter Jeff Brown, residents and other invited guests will go the Glasshouse Restaurant for a buffet lunch.
Railway Housing Association Chief Executive Anne Rowlands said: “From the outset, given the proximity of our development to Darlington College, we were determined to provide as many opportunities as we could to involve the students.
“It started during the building of the homes, with brick-layers, plumbers, joiners and electricians all undertaking week-long work experience placements.
“We were therefore delighted when Darlington College agreed to cater for guests following the official opening as this will provide hands-on experience to even more students.
“We had lunch in the Glasshouse Restaurant recently and based on that experience, we think our guests are going to be in for a treat!”
Claire Turner, Darlington College’s Marketing and Employer Engagement Manager, said: “We are delighted to support the Railway Housing Association with their launch. Darlington College are always seeking new opportunities for our students to allow them to experience real working environments.
“The partnership we have created with Anne and her team enable us to help shape and mould the workforces of the future, across many aspects of our curriculum. We look forward to continuing to develop new links and provide more exciting experiences for our students to the benefit of the association in the future.”