Catering students at Nelson and Colne College saved the day when a primary school could not cook Christmas dinner.

Catering and Hospitality Lecturer Nick Hatch played the role of Father Christmas and Level 1 Catering students admirably stepped up to help him when the team dished up a delicious traditional Christmas dinner to 361 hungry pupils at Lord Street Primary School in Colne.

The primary school kitchen is currently out of action after an outbreak of dry rot and the school was facing not being able to enjoy the annual event. That was until the NCC team swooped in at short notice with sacks full of festive food.

Headteacher at Lord Street Primary School, Duncan Hetherington, said: “With it being Christmas, we really did not want our pupils to go without a hot Christmas meal.

“We as a school are so grateful to Nelson and Colne College for coming to the rescue and I think it goes to show schools in the Colne area, whether primary, secondary or tertiary, will look to help each other out where possible.”


Cheryl Lee, School Business Manager at Lord Street, said: “The meal was tremendous. We had turkey with all the trimmings, pigs in blankets, Brussels sprouts and proper potatoes. It has been the talk of the school!

“Nick put together a vegetarian option and a Halal alternative for our Muslim children. He even managed to come up with a pudding that was suitable for everyone.

“NCC only had two weeks’ notice to plan and deliver a meal over two sittings which is a massive task but the quantity and the quality was fantastic. The looks on the faces of the children were magical.

“The effort, thought and hard work by the NCC team has been spot on and the fact that the meal has been kept hot transporting it from the College to here has been an amazing job.”

NCC’s catering department has won a string of awards in what has been a glittering 2016.

The department won the Employer Engagement prize (Further Education) at the Educate North Awards after successfully forging partnerships with Seafood Pub Company, Burnley FC, and The Grand, in Clitheroe, to provide students with real life experience.

The Catering department also won the Partnership with Industry category and was Highly Commended for Best Chef Lecturer at the Professional Association for Catering Education (PACE) Awards and was a finalist in the Skills Provider category of the Red Rose Awards.

Catering and Hospitality Lecturer Nick Hatch said: “We are thrilled that we could step in and help Lord Street this festive season, and I am extremely proud of our Catering students for their professionalism and for working so hard to make this a success. Opportunities like this show just how much they have developed their skills and professionalism, and how hard they are working to prepare themselves for the world of work.”

For more information on Catering courses at NCC, go to or contact 01282 440200.

Thanks to Naz Alam for the photos.