Kitchen preparing youngsters with support needs for work

Fife community project helping people with additional support needs to make friends and cook for themselves.

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Young people in Fife with additional support needs are learning to cook and develop their culinary skills as part of a community project.

The Sunshine Kitchen launched three years ago and provides a safe space for members to rustle-up tasty treats for the community, whilst making new friends.

Based in Glenrothes, the initiative is aimed at supporting members through the transition from education to working life.

“When our young people transition from full-time education, many of them can become quite isolated.” Gayle Nelson from The Sunshine Kitchen explained.

She added: “They often lack the ability to socialise independently so this is something that they can feel they can belong to.

“Each week we have recipes that we plan to work on and we take them through the recipe, a lot of baked goods and also jams and preserves which are all made from fresh, local fruit.”

Innis Carnegie, a member of The Sunshine Kitchen, said: “I like coming here to make new friends and today I’ve been making soup and jam.”

Julia Stadnik added: “I like coming here to meet new friends and listening to instructions.”

Selling their goods at local markets helps to fund the project and secure its future in the community.

Gayle said: “Receiving that recognition for the work that they’re doing, having customers enjoy their food makes them so delighted in the work that they’ve achieved so that’s the most that we can hope for.”

It’s hoped The Sunshine Kitchen will grow in the months ahead, providing support for more young people as they prepare for the world of work.