Woodhouse youngsters make a meal of church project

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A group of young volunteers are making a meal of forging a community spirit in Mansfield Woodhouse- literally.

Trinity Methodist Church’s youth group ‘Engage’ has been helping launch a lunch club, serving up free homemade meals to children and their families in the community during school holidays.

And since launching in August last year, the team of dedicated 11 to 17-year-olds have helped raise hundreds to help fund the project.

Children and youth worker for the church, Kate Hill, said: “It’s a national initiative I stumbled across, it’s a really positive idea and the young people are brilliant.”

“It’s not about handouts, but to promote a community spirit. We get a steady amount of people and at our peak we had 35. The more we can reach the better.”

Among those who have helped at every sitting since the summer includes Ellie Wilson (17), Amie Evan (14) and Kerry Barksby (14), but Kate said there are many others who contribute.

The young group even raised £600 during a bag pack at Oak Tree Lane Tesco to help buy ingredients.

They help to prepare the food during the lunch sessions, and even supervise a play and craft session.

The menu often can include pasta bakes, casseroles and puddings, with some ingredients even foraged locally, such as wild berries for the fruit pies.

Mansfield Woodhouse’s district and county councillor, Joyce Bosnjak, was so impressed by Make Lunch that she donated £400 from her allocated electoral funds.

She said: “It’s great to see young people helping the community in this way and I was delighted to be able to offer a contribution from my electoral divisional fund.

“Kate and her colleagues at the church should be applauded for this initiative.”

Anyone wanting to enjoy a meal is being encouraged to either log onto www.facebook.com/MakeLunchMansfieldWoodhouse or phone 077774523504. Only held during school holidays, people must book in advance.