YOUNG people have been turning their favourite takeaways into healthy meals in a project to improve their skills in the kitchen.

The budding chefs were given lessons by volunteers from The Bridge at Leigh Community Café where they were taught how to make food like burgers, pizzas and chicken dishes with healthy, fresh ingredients.

After completing their cooking course, they put their new skills into practice by serving their parents and carers Christmas dinner at the cafe.

They were also joined by volunteers from the cafe and staff from Wigan Council, who set up the project.

One of the trustees from Leigh Caring Kitchen, the charity behind the cafe, Lisa Darlington, said: "We wanted to educate the young people on basic cooking skills and they told us their favourite foods were takeaways so we decided to teach them how to make their own healthier versions of them from scratch.

"I have loved this project and the young people have been brilliant.

"We have all eaten each meal together as a group after cooking it and everyone has made friends and got along."

Budding chef Jack Warburton, 14, from Hindley, added: "I have learnt all about the timing of cooking foods and how to cook safely.

"I have enjoyed everything about this project.

"It has been great learning how to cook and I also like eating together- it is calming and relaxing.

"I have also learnt I can get along well with other people."

The course was part of Wigan Council's The Deal scheme, which encourages young people to get involved in their community and challenge themselves to try new things and help others.

Portfolio holder for children and young people Cllr Jenny Bullen said: "This project is a great example of young people giving up some of their free time to learn a new skill that will really benefit them and help them to be more independent in later life.

"It is fantastic that volunteers in Leigh have also given up their time to pass on their cooking skills to local young people.

"It seems that everyone has got a lot out of this project and I hope they all enjoyed their Christmas dinner."