Project Challenge N’Gage learners participate in accredited learning in the real life café of Orangebox, studying theoretical and practical BTEC Level 1 Basic Cooking and Hospitality qualifications, over a period of between 9 – 34 weeks.
The courses are delivered over 2 days;
Monday; Shopping lists are prepared for the upcoming menu, techniques are tried and tested together with the various processes involved with that week’s cooking. This allows young people to practice the Friday menu and to learn the theory behind the practical lessons.
Friday; the ‘Orange Club’ opens for service, for service users of the Orangebox and diners. The learners are now operating in a professional working environment where pre-orders are taken into account, shopping lists are devised together with the most cost effective places to shop- preferring to use locally sourced ingredients. By lunch time a fully functional service, including setting and decorating the café tables for customers is in operation. All food is prepared from scratch and is fresh. The learners work efficiently as a team to meet deadlines, taking orders and serving. This also includes a deep clean at the end of the session.
‘Orange Club’ menus are often themed to British Values or historical events, where learners explore and decorate the café accordingly, including themed music! Themes have included national curry week, rationing, Halloween, Black History month, valentines……..
Cooking has a proven track record of increasing emotional wellbeing including; reducing anxiety, boosting creativity and happiness and increasing capability and a wellbeing feeling, not to mention feeding and tasting new foods.
Embedded or accredited maths and English are also a part of the full time programme on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.