Students on a roll at brunch club

A group of catering students are serving up tasty treats for the residents of a sheltered housing complex.

The students from Llandrillo College are putting the brunch into the weekly Brunch Club at Kennedy Court, in Old Colwyn.

According to housing association Cartrefi Conwy, who run the complex, it’s the “perfect partnership”.

For their part, the students get to hone their culinary and social skills in a real-life setting.

At the same time, the residents just love meeting up for a chat while enjoying bacon baps and cup cakes all washed down with a piping hot brew.

College tutor Trisha Hughes said: “All the students involved are studying the Introduction to Catering course on a full-time basis.

“While all have mild learning difficulties, they are thoroughly enjoying the responsibility of running the Brunch Club for residents.

“They organise everything themselves even down to deciding what uniform they wear. They do all the cooking and serving themselves and while the course is all about catering they are also learning other important social skills.

“It really is all about independence and learning about social responsibility. I am so grateful to Cartrefi Conwy for working in partnership with us on this project which we are already looking to extend.”

“We are delighted to work with Cartrefi Conwy with a view to future links for some of our mainstream students. There is the possibility of a gardening project and clerical work too.

“It is absolutely fantastic that Cartrefi Conwy are giving our students the chance to engage with the community while also having the opportunity to learn.”

Kennedy Court Warden Chris Bradley says the residents are really enjoying the Brunch Club.

She said: “The Brunch Club started in October last year and has proved very popular.

“It isn’t restricted to Kennedy Court as we have residents of other Cartrefi Conwy housing complexes coming along to meet friends over a cup of tea or coffee and a snack.

“The students have been absolutely brilliant and we all look forward to the them coming along for the Brunch Club. We are now looking to expand the scheme into other Cartrefi Conwy sheltered accommodation complexes such as Pentre Newydd.”

The Kennedy Court residents have nothing but praise for the students.

Sheila Jarvis, who has lived at Kennedy Court for more than 12 years, said: “It really is a pleasure to come to the Brunch Club. Well done to Cartrefi Conwy and the College.

“The students are  brilliant and work so hard making sure everything is perfect. It’s great for us to get out of our flats, meet up and have a chat. It makes for a really good morning and it’s always good to socialise.”

It was a message echoed by Yvonne Hicks, who has been a resident of Parciau Close, another Cartrefi Conwy sheltered housing complex, for six years.

She said: “It’s great, we meet up and have a good old natter and put the world to rights. The students are absolutely brilliant. At first they were a bit shy but you can see how they have developed and become more confident.”

The Rev Mair Jones, a Cartrefi Conwy board member, popped along to have a look at the Brunch Club in full swing and was “very impressed”.

She said: “This is a perfect partnership. Our strap line at Cartrefi Conwy is creating communities to be proud of and what better example is there than the Kennedy Court Brunch Club?

“Here we see students gaining valuable experience while residents are getting together and having a good old natter. It really is a good all round effort. I can certainly recommend the bacon baps, they are delicious!”

Cllr Bob Squire, who represents the area on Conwy County Borough Council, applauded Cartrefi Conwy for their links with Llandrillo College.

He said: “It is fantastic to see a partnership working in this way to benefit the community. I can see Kennedy Court residents really engage with the students and long may this wonderful scheme continue.”

Students Sam Hou Yau, 25, and Jasmine Richardson, 17, agreed that they really enjoy the Brunch Club.

Sam said: “I like serving people, everyone is kind. I also serve at the college and sometimes help my mum and dad in their restaurant.”

Jasmine added: “I am hoping to study catering in mainstream college next year if I can. I like everything about the Brunch Club, I like meeting people and having a chat. Everyone here is so nice.”

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