STROUD'S young people are getting a helping hand in the kitchen, thanks to Stroud Town Council.
The town council has awarded a £3,000 grant to OPENhouse which will be used for its Food for Thought scheme.
It is one of seven organisations to receive grants totally totalling £10,200 from the town council's Community Support Fund.
"This money has contributed greatly to the running of our community kitchen workshop," said Dr Claire Mould, chief executive of OPENhouse.
"This will benefit the young people we work with enormously, providing them with the cookery skills they need to live independently when they leave us.
"In addition to that it will contribute to the community as a whole as OPENhouse is keen that our community kitchen is just that a community kitchen accessible to all community groups who would benefit from this resource.
OPENhouse, based in Gloucester Street, supports up to 60 vulnerable and young people at any one time. It provides housing, education, training, education, support and advice.
Emily Laws, aged 17, from Stroud is studying creative crafts at OPENhouse. It is helping her get back into education after she had to quit school when she was diagnosed with ME (myalgic encephalopathy).
"It allows me to do a few hours at a time of study and then to have time off if I need it," said Emily who hopes to go on and become a clothes designer. "Coming here has helped me regain my confidence."
Amanda Moriarty, Stroud town mayor, said meeting the young people and seeing the work of OPENhouse was inspirational.
"Our young people are the future of our town and they deserve all the support we can give them. Our Community Support Fund was created to help worthy projects exactly like this," said Amanda.
The Community Support Fund is a £50,000 pot. Groups can apply for grants of between £500 and £3,000.
Other groups to receive grants were: Maypole Youth Group (£1,700), Home-Start Stroud & Dursley (£813.80), Stroud Valleys Project (£250), Stroud Beresford (£2,750), The Uplands Care Service (£3,000) and The Door (£1,500).
The next deadline for applications is October 15. Application forms are available from www.stroudtown.gov.uk or visit the town council offices.