For the past three years, the Russell Anderson Foundation (RAF) has been working with Aberdeen’s Kirkhill Primary School, delivering physical activity and health and wellbeing programmes to the pupils.
One major strand of the work has been to focus on healthy eating and, to this end, RAF, in partnership with Aberdeen Airport, kitted out a skills room at the school with basic cooking utensils, to assist with the delivery of cooking and food preparation classes.
As a gauge to the initiative’s success, Jacqui Alexnder Class/Skills Hub teacher from Kirkhill Primary School commented. “One day earlier this year two dozen of our p6’s and p7’s volunteered in the hub and we served up over 200 plates in 90 minutes (we actually ran out of food). From taking orders to organising a production line, cutting, measuring, preparing, and cooking the food managing the logistics of getting the food to the correct customers, they were all amazing. Really super life and work skills, not to mention money making skills! We cleared over £200 profit for school funds.”
On hearing of the work being undertaken at Kirkhill and the positive impact it was having on the children and their families, Aberdeen based Texo offered to design and install a purpose-built kitchen area in the school to enhance the quality of the programme which was completed over the summer holidays just ended.
Chris Smith, TEXO Group MD added, “When we were asked to participate in this amazing initiative, we knew straight away that this fitted perfectly into the TEXO foundation vision. Richard Lamb TEXO’s Workspace Solutions Director used every available resource to deliver a workspace environment that would allow staff at Kirkhill Primary School to maximise pupils’ potential through cooking and healthy eating education. Listening to the needs of the staff and seeing the results was one of the most rewarding challenges the whole team at TEXO has faced to date. We cannot wait to taste some of the amazing food that come out of the kitchens.
Russell Anderson added, “This has been achieved with a real partnership approach involving Aberdeen Airport, Kirkhill staff and pupils, Texo and ourselves and demonstrates just what can be done. As Jacqui has stated, this has resulted in a huge positive impact on the lives of pupils and their families and the installation of the new kitchen area takes the facilities to another level. Everyone is so grateful and appreciative of Texo’s involvement and the pupils are very proud of their new cooking area.”
Pictured at the opening of Kirkhill’s new kitchen watching youngsters preparing healthy meals are left to right – Richard Lamb, Divisional Director, Workspace Solutions, Texo, Cllr Martin Greig, convenor of Aberdeen City Council education committee, Jacqui Alexander, Chris Smith, Russell Anderson.
*Formed in 2012, RAF began by delivering free football sessions to children in some of the more socially deprived areas of the city. These days, what RAF does encompasses so much more than just football. The whole ethos of the Foundation is to empower children to make good decisions and give them a chance to reach their potential. RAF works with over 2000 children on a weekly basis across our 9 partner schools in the city and, although a large part of the work remains focused on health and well-being and being physically active, RAF also works with the schools in other areas to improve attainment levels and help with better outcomes for the pupils. This includes practical cooking lessons, food support, mentoring programmes, workplace visits and employability opportunities to name some of the programmes RAF is currently delivering.