Students at Stoke on Trent College have been helping a day of celebrations in the City.
The School Links students baked and decorated a Victoria sponge to commemorate the birthday of the Victorian Park.
Hanley Park was opened on this day in 1897 to commemorate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria.
Each of the hospitality and catering students had a different task to do, culminating in a design depicting the colourful floral beds and swans swimming on the lake. The “forget-me- not” emblazoned path carrying the words “The Park celebrates 119 years. Happy Birthday!”
Stoke on Trent College’s School Links programme offers Year 10 and Year 11 pupils the chance to achieve vocational qualifications alongside their traditional studies in subjects such as mechanics, hairdressing, construction and catering, ensuring the youngsters are fully-equipped for both further education and employment.
Kay Phillips, School Links Development Officer at Stoke on Trent College, said: “Our School Links programme has gone from strength to strength and the outstanding achievement of these young people is testament to that”.
Lecturer in Hospitality and Catering, Julie Hilditch said “The students were all given individual tasks to decorate the cake and their teamwork shone through, creating a piece of artwork which brought joy to others”.
Stoke on Trent College has been working closely with Stoke on Trent City Council since the original project team was created to submit a restoration bid for the Victorian Park. The students from the Excel Academy, Thistley Hough Academy, Abbey Hill School and Performing Arts College, the Roaches Independent School and Madeley High School were proud and privileged to have been invited to bake the cake. Not only did it celebrate the 119th anniversary, but also the major investment that will now be made to return the park to its former glory for all community stakeholders and visitors to the city to enjoy.
Residents of the area are invited to join in the celebrations around the bandstand with their own picnic, listen to the entertainment from the Potteries branch of the Royal British Legion and of course enjoy a piece of cake.
It will also be a good opportunity to learn a bit about the park and its £4.5m of restoration, which is supported by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund through its “Parks for People” programme.