THE founder of an award-winning charity which has helped chefs is hosting a final fundraiser to thank people for their support.

Nick Hall, who works at Ulverston Victoria High School, set up the Aroma Catering Foundation in his first year of teaching.

Having been taught to bake by his grandmother, Nick began to study for a career in cooking at Ullswater Community College in his home town of Penrith.

He studied food at A-level, followed a home economics degree course at Liverpool John Moores University and then returned to his home county for teacher training at the University of Cumbria.

Nick then landed a job at Ulverston Victoria High School, where he remains today as a teacher of food preparation and nutrition, and assistant head of year nine.

The Mail: Nick Hall cooking.Nick Hall cooking. (Image: Submitted)

In his first year of employment he launched the Aroma Catering Foundation to help students with similar aspirations of working with food.

"The first idea was to raise money so that students who wanted to go to catering college but were put off or struggling (financially) would be able to pay for chef's whites, for a set of knives, for transport. It all adds up and was then costing about £400 for a student to go," he said.

To put money in the coffers, the charity has hosted pop-up restaurants and other catering events across the county, including at Ulverston, Dalton and Barrow.

The Mail: Nick Hall.Nick Hall. (Image: Submitted)

During eight years, Aroma has raised and donated almost £5,000.

"We have given funding and financial support to eight people, one of whom is working with Simon Rogan at L’Enclume, in Cartmel, another is on his way, has had several promotions and is one of leading chefs at Low Wood Bay, Windermere, others who have gone to Kendal and Barrow colleges" said Nick.

But Aroma has now run its course with colleges and apprenticeship providers happily ensuring that students do not need to add their own cash injection into the mix. 

"I would hope, if nothing else, the charity has inspired people to follow their passion. If they have gone on to do what they have always wanted to do because of us then I’ll be a very happy man."

And so there will be one last support for the charity at Penrith Cricket Club on Friday, April 7 with seven-course main and vegetarian menus on offer at £40 per head in aid of the cricket club's player development schemes, and also Penrith Salvation Army and Barrow Food Bank.