YOUNGSTERS from the Oakfield Project cooked up a treat when they served a three course lunch for the community.

The 28 pupils from the Marlowe Avenue centre, which helps those aged between 14 and 16 who struggle with mainstream education, cooked the meals, waited on guests and also acted as guides showing visitors around the centre.

The annual Come Dine with Oakfield event was a fundraiser in aid of the NSPCC and Prostate Cancer UK with dishes including Scottish leek and potato soup, marinated lamb chops and Caribbean trifle amongst others.

Oakfield Project, formed in 2011, is supported by Commonweal School, Dorcan Technology College, Lydiard Park Academy, Nova Hreod College and St Joseph’s College, who send pupils to the centre.

Liam Lewis, 15, who guided guests, said: “It went really well and I think it was a good opportunity to show people from schools and the council all the hard work we do here.”

Diners had to rate each course out of five and were asked to give a pound for each point they awarded.

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Toasting the event, from left, Shannon McLaughlin (past student), Amy Bishop (current student), Alex Pawlowski (community support officer), Emma Page and Maria Wilson

Spencer Cutler, a teacher at Commonweal School, in The Mall, said: “Today has been a great success and I enjoyed the lunch.

“More importantly, it is good to see the progress these young people are making with the Oakfield Project and I think this is a provision which communities up and down the country should have, as it makes so much difference to those students who need that little extra bit of support.”

The funds raised from the event are still being tallied and Paul Wainwright, the Oakfield Project’s deputy manager, said he was proud of all the pupils involved.

He said: “We like to get our young people involved in projects as it gives them an ownership and something to develop as their own.

“We try to empower the children here as it builds trust and respect.

“We offer children here a wider curriculum than what they might get in mainstream education and ready them for their next stage of their lives.”

As the pupils prepare to leave the Oakfield Project they work with them to find college placement or work experience.