Young chefs cook up a storm as part of unique festive community project


A TEAM of teenage cooks have served up Christmas lunch with a difference in Govan.

The young people, all aged 13-16, have been taking part in a project organised by two charities working in partnership, Aberlour and Street Cones.

Today [Dec14], after two months of cookery lessons, the group – known as the ‘Storm Cookers’ prepared and served a three-course festive meal to 40 pensioners in the Elderpark Centre, Govan.

Johnny Hendry, young people’s worker with Aberlour’s Youthpoint project, said: “I work with young people in Govan every day, particularly those who might not be engaging in school regularly. It’s vital they get the opportunity to learn new skills in other environments.

“I’ve also noticed a divide between our young people and the older people living in the community. We wanted to do something to bring everyone together and share a message about respect for all, and what better time to do that than Christmas?”

Johnny drafted in support from partners Street Cones, who use creative arts to work with young people and those with experience of the criminal justice system. Together they created a programme for the Storm Cookers, including cookery lessons from a professional chef, improvisation and roleplay workshops with Scottish actors and work towards a nationally recognised qualification – a Youth Achievement Award.


Actor Adam Robertson said: “Having been a lead practitioner on various Street Cones projects, this one is extra special. This project, in partnership with Aberlour, brings both old and young together, in the true spirit of Christmas – to share in the experience of a hearty, nourishing, three-course Christmas meal.

“It’s about breaking down barriers, developing communication skills, physical coordination, listening and, importantly, respect. Respect for each other and respect for our elders are all positive outcomes from the ‘Storm Cooker’ project.”

The Christmas menu comprised a choice of lentil soup with crusty bread or filo parcels filled with haggis to start; roast turkey with all the trimmings or vegetable wellington for mains, and traditional trifle or Christmas pudding for dessert.

The young people served lunch waiter-style, dressed smartly in white shirts and bow-ties.

Funding for the project came from The Glasgow Community Planning Partnership and Elderpark Housing Association.

Other sponsors include chef Charlie Cameron, Urban Roots, Govan High School, Morrisons Cardonald, Asda Govan, ABR Quality Foods, Sunny Govan Radio and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

The guests at the lunch were all members of the Craft Café, a community group run by Impact Arts, who meet at the Elder Park Centre to take part in a range of craft activities.

Fiona Doring, Director of Impact Arts, said: “The Christmas lunch has been fantastic in bringing together people from across generations in Govan who may not often come into contact with one another. With isolation and loneliness being a continual issue for older people in our society, events like this are hugely important in building bonds within the community.

“Our Craft Cafe members are brilliantly creative minds who continually impress with their artistic accomplishments. Rewarding them for their efforts at Christmas is very fitting and so we thank the group from Aberlour and Street Cones, who have worked so hard putting this meal together.”





For more information, please contact Head of Marketing and Communications on marie-claire.jones@aberlour.org.uk or 07528970553


Not all children are born with an equal chance. Aberlour is there for Scotland’s hidden children, when others let them down. Because every child deserves a chance to flourish.

We help by:

  • Offering a safe place to live for children who have suffered abuse and trauma
  • Making life easier for families where a child has a disability
  • Giving babies a brighter future by building confidence in their parents
  • Helping families recover from drug and alcohol addiction, so their children can thrive
  • Working with young people to prevent their problems from spiralling out of control

Our vision is to transform the lives of the children and families we work with and, through this, contribute to building a fairer and more equal society