A POP-UP restaurant is giving young people from Bolton and across the North West life-changing opportunities.

Youth training scheme EAT Pennines dished up tasty delights at The Barlow in Edgworth for three nights.

EAT – which stands for ‘Employment And Training’ – Pennines took 15 unemployed youngsters with an interest in food and gave them the opportunity and skills to run the restaurant over the weekend.

There were two menus, one for Friday and Saturday, and one for Sunday.

Dishes included Lancashire hotpot, Portobello mushroom Wellington as well as sticky, steamed sponge pudding.

Sunday’s menu included roasted chicken and all the Sunday trimmings. Glen Duckett, director at EAT Pennines, said: “It’s gone really well, everybody seemed to really like the food and commented how the service was great.

“We work with young people who might be marginalised in some way, whether they have a disability or perhaps been to prison.”

EAT Pennines chooses a community location and the young people spend their whole weekend running the pop-up restaurant, which is a culmination of a 14 to 16-week course.

“A lot of the young people we work with might not have engaged well academically,” added Mr Duckett.

“But the hospitality industry is very practical and really gives them the opportunity to shine and to build up their confidence.”

Catherine Hilton, aged 19, from Bolton, said: “I am usually quite a shy person, but working front of house made me quite open and helped me to speak to people more freely.

“After this I’m hoping to get an apprenticeship which will hopefully lead to a job.”

Daniel Doyle, aged 17, from Whitefield, said: “I didn’t really fit in at school and ended up in a bad position, I was locked away for a while.

“This has given me the opportunity to do something good and learn how to work around a kitchen.”

John Harwood, general manager at The Barlow, said: “It’s a really exciting project. There were some very nice reviews on Facebook and in person when people were on their way out.

“There wasn’t one person who didn’t enjoy it. This fits right in with our ethos at The Barlow.

“EAT Pennines is giving employment and training opportunities to young people who might be a bit less advantaged, and giving them a chance of gaining full-time employment at the end of the course.

“Something like this really is a win-win, because we have a new set of people coming to The Barlow and, secondly, we are able to offer some work experience to Glen’s trainees, which is what it is all about.”