Focaccia fundraiser makes 456 buns for Life Education Trust

A marathon four-hour effort by cookery students has seen 456 focaccia buns baked in support of Life Education Trust West Coast.

Led by Tai Poutini Polytechnic tutors, West Coast Trades Academy students baked the focaccia buns as part of their training assessment, then bundled them up for sale with all proceeds going to support the Life Education Trust on the West Coast. The $750 raised was today (Thursday 8 September 2022) presented to the Trust under the watchful eye of mascot Harold the Giraffe and Greymouth Mayor Tania Gibson.

A big effort was required to prepare the buns, with 40kg of flour used to make the dough which was then scaled, rounded, flattened, proved and finally finished with olive oil, rosemary and freshly milled salt for baking.

Culinary Arts Tutors Evelyne Baumgartner and Mitesh Moharajan say it was a true joint effort, with all students pitching-in over the four-hour bake, then handing the finished buns over to Café Skills students to manage the distribution process.

“The students are using a range of skills to work on these tasks which challenge them and stoke their enjoyment of cookery and related career fields. At the same time, they get a sense of pride from working hard to make a difference for their local community.

“Our students have been busy recently, with the successful focaccia fundraiser coming on the back of our Daffodil Day cupcake cook-off. These are fantastic opportunities to test the skills of our learners, at the same time as showing them how they can make a difference in their community. The Life Education Trust does a wonderful job to support our young people and it is fantastic to be able to support them.”

Life Education Trust West Coast Executive Officer Suzi Taylor says fundraising support from the community is a welcome way to support the work of the Trust.

“The funds raised by the cookery students will benefit children right across the West Coast as it goes directly to our ‘Healthy Harold’ programme in local schools helping children to develop life skills relating to their health and wellbeing across the areas of food and nutrition, human biology, relationships and communities, identity and resilience, and substances.”


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Cookery West Coast Trades Academy students Catrin Grant, Tierley Wilson, Desiree Jensen and Daniel Williams with Tania Gibson -Trustee of Life Education Trust West Coast and Grey District Mayor and Suzi Taylor - Executive Officer of Life Education Trust West Coast.


Cookery West Coast Trades Academy student Desiree Jensen preparing the buns
Cookery West Coast Trades Academy student Desiree Jensen preparing the buns.


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