Lake District Hotels Group’s Mission To Teach Young People To Cook

Independent research published by The Co-operative Group Limited, highlights that dining out and food on the move has seen considerable growth in recent years and as a result, there has been a decline in home cooking by 54% in the last 30 years. The same survey also found that young people don’t have the skills to cook a week’s worth of meals; and one in four has no interest in cooking at all.

It was also revealed in that 97% of school pupils in the UK had written off a career in hospitality, with 35% unaware that hospitality could offer career progression. From reading about these facts and after hearing of the enormous pressure that Keswick School was under following years of successive funding cuts, Lake District Hotels Ltd, Director Kit Graves, came up with a master plan to improve the food technology facilities within the school.

The decision was made to redevelop the facilities, after a visit to the school where it was decided that the existing technology kitchen, was so out of touch with today’s teaching kitchens, that it required a complete refit. Kit’s idea to turn the room into a TV style Bake-off kitchen was agreed, which then followed with 18 months of fundraising activities from Lake District Hotels Ltd, to raise the required amount of £30,000.

Kit Graves commented, “From the initial idea, the project became much bigger than any of us had anticipated, but with a lot of hard work and determination we got there in the end. I would like to thank everyone that was involved in the project, with a special thank you to all individuals and businesses who made generous donations – Lake District Hotels Ltd, Underscar Manor, Thomas Armstrong Group, Keswick Rotary Club, Jennings Brewery, Hyde Harrington Chartered Surveyors, Caterite Food & Wineservice Ltd, Pioneer Foodservice, Sealy, Aljacks DES Ltd, Unwin Jones, Ribble Farm Fare, Heatons Office Solutions and Howdens Joinery.”

Simon Jackson, Head Teacher commented, “Both staff and students have been excited to see the refurbished Food Technology kitchen at the start of a new academic year. This fantastic teaching space, provided through the amazing support of the Lake District Hotels group, will encourage more children to learn about cooking and understand the importance of a good diet. The design captures the essence of the Great British Bake Off and I’m sure will inspire more students to seriously consider a career in catering and hospitality in the future.”

The academy apprenticeship is open to any age group, offers a salary based on the individuals age, and offers an abundance of incentives, from your first knife set and full set of chef’s whites, £1,000 bonus on completion of training, one night’s dinner, bed and breakfast for 2 in one of our seven hotels, 2 weeks work experience abroad in Malta or Austria and much more.

To apply for a place in the ‘Hotel Academy’, or for further information contact