NESCol students and staff provide help for Aberdeen homeless charity

December 16, 2020

Students and staff from a range of subject areas at North East Scotland College have been working together to help Street Friends, a charity that aims to help people who are homeless through outreach services.

First year professional cookery students joined forces with those studying bakery and learning opportunities to provide hot meals on two Wednesday evenings in December for a number of those facing homelessness in Aberdeen.  Peter Baxter said: “Last Wednesday, during the day, our professional cookery students prepared meat, vegetables and potatoes for the main course – beef and vegetable stew with creamed potatoes – while groups of bakery and learning opportunities students assisted by making rolls and cakes. This week we are preparing fish pies and fruit crumble.”  The students and staff were joined by two volunteers from the College’s events management course who helped to serve the food at the event.  The College also provided a vehicle and driver for the group.

Peter continued: “Our professional cookery students usually offer Christmas lunches for staff, students and the general public in the College’s training restaurant, Gate 63. We couldn’t do that this year due to the pandemic so when Lianne Marriott, a Student Support Coordinator at NESCol, got in touch to see if we could help Street Friends we were more than happy to assist.  It gave our students the opportunity to practice their skills while also helping vulnerable people in the community.”

Lianne said: “I got in touch with Peter while planning the College’s winter festival, #sparkleatNESCol. I thought that it would be good if the College could help people finding themselves in food poverty and also a great way for our students to make a difference in the local community. Peter and the students were very keen to offer their help and I’m delighted this is the result!”

Peter said: “Our professional cookery students have been studying the practical elements of their course in small groups in the kitchens at our Aberdeen City Campus since September so we were able to prepare the food for Street Friends in an already established socially-distanced way.  This project was a challenge for the students as they had to plan a menu that would be tasty and nutritious but also able to be transported and served outwith the usual restaurant environment.”

Lianne continued: “As a College, we are very aware that Christmas is a challenging time for many people and this is just one of a number of initiatives we’ve been working on to help our staff, students and wider community.  This also includes building partnerships with foodbanks across Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire to enable us to directly refer students facing hardship to receive assistance.”

For more information on Street Friends, visit their website: