Celebrity chef Rachel Green opens hi-tech canteen at Caistor Yarborough Academy
A CELEBRITY chef officially opened a new social canteen area at a Caistor school – but there will be no "chewing the fat".
Star of radio and TV Rachel Green cut the ribbon at Caistor Yarborough Academy's new hi-tech canteen, named The Hub by the pupils, who were consulted on everything from the name to the furniture.
The school invested £30,000 into the space-age restaurant, which has citrus trees dotted around, fingerprint payment stations and records what kids eat, so that parents can keep track of their diet. Rachel Green said: "This is a great space, which is important because the social side of school is every bit as important as the academic side in equipping young people for the future.
"I have worked with many other schools in the country and very few are lucky enough to have a place like this."
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The area is four times the size of the old canteen, which used to be partitioned off, with one half of the building used as a youth club as it was partially owned by Lincolnshire County Council.
It is now fully owned by the academy, which still allows it to be used by the youth group once a week.
Lincolnshire-based company Kingswood Catering has also taken over the menu, providing what they hope is a healthier selection of food before school, at break times and at lunch.
Principal Jeremy Newham said: "No matter what you do, kids will always come to school without having breakfast, so the earlier eating times are proving really popular and it means kids aren't going to lessons hungry so much.
"There are also more service points to decrease queues and the prices are reasonable – there aren't many places you can get a full roast dinner for less than £3.
"I'm very proud of the pupils and the initiative they have shown when they were consulted about the area and hope they enjoy it."
But what do the students think of The Hub?
School Council member Briana Slack, 15, said: "The process has been really enjoyable and the area is really beneficial to the students.
"Being a part of it makes us feel responsible and helps us on our journey to becoming adults."
Another school council member, Cherstine Scholtz, 16, said: "The area looks much better, it's quicker getting served and knowing that we were part of it makes it all the more special."
Natalia Szymanska, 12, was serving mocktails at the opening party.
"Getting together for this official opening was a really good idea and I think we should do this again in the future," she said.