Two students from North East universities are taking their first steps to careers in nutrition after securing exciting year-long placements at a Newcastle-based social enterprise.
Lizzie Hennig from Newcastle University and Jessica Burnley from Northumbria University are the newest recruits at Food Nation in Byker, which provides food and nutrition services to schools, businesses and communities across the North East.
Lizzie, 20, from Kent, is studying food and human nutrition, and has been appointed as an enterprise assistant. She will be responsible for all food-sourcing for Food Nation’s cookery courses, as well as being involved in developing and delivering food education workshops for school children.
Lizzie said: “I’m interested in all aspects relating to food and nutrition and hope to pursue a career in nutrition or public health, so this placement at Food Nation provides the ideal opportunity for me to gain extremely useful experience, and to learn about working in an office environment.
“Jamie Sadler, who runs Food Nation, came to talk to us in Freshers’ Week at university, so since then I’ve been very interested in what they do for the area and have been really keen to get involved.”
Jessica, 20, from Hartlepool, is working towards a degree in human nutrition, having chosen that particular subject because of her long-standing interest in food and leading a healthy lifestyle.
She takes up the position of volunteer coordinator at Food Nation, which involves recruiting and managing every aspect of the volunteering opportunities that Food Nation offers. Jess will also be involved in day-to-day housekeeping duties and assisting in cooking courses – and will soon be provided with the opportunity to take her own cooking class.
She said: “I’m passionate about conveying the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle, and I felt Food Nation would provide the perfect platform to help me do this.
“I was drawn to the friendly atmosphere and the approachable team, and the range of activities in the job description really appealed to me. I’m excited to meet new people and try and make a difference in their lives by teaching them a new skill in relation to health, nutrition and cooking.”
Joanna Lacey, head of operations at Food Nation, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Lizzie and Jess to the team. They both impressed us with their enthusiasm for nutrition and healthy living, as well as their knowledge of Food Nation’s work.
“Their awareness and concern about topical health challenges such as growing obesity rates in the UK, and their determination to help tackle these issues, chimes very well with our aims at Food Nation, and we’re sure they’ll prove to be an asset to us in the coming year.”
For more information about Food Nation, visit www.foodnation.org or call 0191 276 0595