New commercial kitchen for PCYC Lake Macquarie

As images of the ‘old kitchen’ are projected onto the wall, showing the dated equipment and appliances in the classic ‘before shot’, it’s difficult to ignore the excitement and buzz coming from behind the door of the new kitchen at PCYC Lake Macquarie.

We’re told the new kitchen meets modern compliance standards, boasts new cooking appliances, fridges, stainless steel benches, and the ability to be a flexible learning space. The scene has been set to wow us with the $62,500 refurbishment.

As the doors of the kitchen are opened and we’re given view of the end result, our senses are overloaded.

It’s bright, shiny, and new. There’s a distinct hum of appliances, clattering of trays being moved around, and people are talking and laughing.

Today the kitchen is being used by Ability Options as part of their learning necessary skills in life program and the smell of freshly baked cake hangs sweet and heavy in the air.

The program participants are taking their role as caterers for this official launch very seriously. They’ve pulled out all stops to impress; on the menu today is pizza, pikelets, and banana and blueberry muffins.

Working with their support workers, the Ability Options program participants easily move around the new kitchen facilities and use the new appliances with confidence.

“At PCYC we aim to make a change in people’s lives,” Martin Eddy, PCYC Lake Macquarie Club Manager, said.

“This new kitchen will enable that. We’ve provided an environment for young people to learn and create new skills which they can use in their day-to-day life or even to get a job.”

The refurbished kitchen will be used by PCYC and community and disability groups, such as Ability Options, for catering and training purposes. It will also be used to host the weekly Free Friday program for about 50 children and young people who many not receive adequate nutrition at home.

“It was an absolute joy to walk into the new kitchen today,” Jennifer Leslie, Director of Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation said.

“The smiles on the faces of our chefs today were contagious. They were so proud to be cooking for us in this new facility—and the food was delicious!

“It’s a great pleasure that we’ve been able to support this grassroots project. It’s a project that has delivered so much more than a new kitchen for PCYC Lake Macquarie; it has delivered hope and opportunity for our community,” Jennifer said.

This grant continues the almost 15-year partnership between Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation and PCYC NSW.  During this time, the Charitable Foundation has provided PCYC NSW more than $660,000 in grants to fund 22 projects across regional NSW.  Read more about other Charitable Foundation grants to PCYC here <link to here:>

*Image courtesy of the Newcastle Herald