Northampton College catering students have encouraged people with visual impairments to ‘relish their independence’ and get cooking - sharing recipes and techniques to allow them to prepare a meal for their families.

Twins Scarlett and Eliza Humphrey, aged 18 from West Haddon, are both ‘black blind’ and were joined in the kitchens at Booth Lane by visually impaired Kerrie Burgess, aged 16 from Corby. All three are supported by Northamptonshire Association for the Blind.

Scarlett and Eliza were keen to stage an event, which they planned during their work experience placement, where visually impaired people could be shown basic cooking skills which they could transfer into their everyday lives, encouraging independence and healthy eating.

Hugh Spence of NAB, who is blind himself and helped organise the session, said: “I tend to survive on a combination of ready meals and takeaways, I don’t really eat much fresh produce so this was a great opportunity to try something different. It’s healthier and a much cheaper way of eating.”

They were supported by a number of college students who explained the process and techniques required while guiding them around the ingredients and equipment in the busy kitchen.

Catering lecturer Russell Smith said: “This was a great challenge for our students to get them thinking differently. They had to quickly grasp a new way of explaining the steps in a recipe and put themselves into someone else’s shoes, delivering clear and concise instructions in the right order. They did brilliantly and it was good to see our visitors relish their new-found independence which we hope they can take away and use at home.”

A two-course lunch of pasta with tomato and Mediterranean vegetable sauce, garlic bread and salad followed by apple crumble and custard was served to guests including family members of those involved and trustees of the charity.

Elaine Allen, chief executive of NAB, said: “If you live your whole life with an attitude of ‘I can’t do this’ then that’s what you become. This event gives everyone involved a huge amount of confidence. It’s about changing the mindset and urging people to try new things and not be scared. They did amazingly, it was delicious. I was very impressed.”

As Northamptonshire’s local sight loss charity, Northamptonshire Association for the Blind provides advice, support and products to help visually impaired people live life to the full.