Children’s cooking classes are booming after former teacher sets up culinary school for young people

Hedworthfield CA Starbakers Lesley Heslop, right, and youngsters, sporting new aprons from People's Angel's Lynn Davis, left.

Hedworthfield CA Starbakers Lesley Heslop, right, and youngsters, sporting new aprons from People's Angel's Lynn Davis, left.

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A former teacher, who turned to her passion for baking as she cooked up a new career, is seeing her business rise.

Lesley Heslop has been running Starbakers Cooking Club for almost a year and in that time has seen the number of youngsters joining her classes soar.

The sessions have also attracted rave reviews from the parents of youngsters who attend.

Now, thanks to a donation of aprons from the support group People’s Angels, her pupils are sporting a new look as they create their culinary delights. Mrs Heslop, 48, said: “I was contacted by someone from the People’s Angels who had seen us on Facebook and asked if we needed any help with buying equipment.

“I was given a donation which I have used to buy 38 aprons, which I am really grateful for.

“It is the second time the People’s Angels have supported me with a donation which has helped me to set up and run the sessions.”

Starbakers is based at Hedworthfield Community Centre, in Cornhill, Jarrow with sessions currently running on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

The after-school club was created after the former food technology teacher spotted something similar taking place down south.

Ms Heslop, from South Shields, added: “I’ve been running the cooking classes for a year now. I started off with one class but due to demand, I now have three.

“The youngest person I have attending the session is four and I also have a few volunteers who are currently doing their Duke of Edinburgh Award.

“The focus is on baking so we look at things like pizzas, sausage rolls and cakes.

“Everything is going really well and hopefully one day I will have my own cooking school and be able to run adults sessions.”

For information on the sessions and enrolment visit Starbakers on Facebook or call 0191 519 6700.