The children’s menu at Oswestry’s specialist orthopaedic hospital has had a redesign, thanks to input from students at Llanfyllin High School.

The Catering team at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital and Year 10 students at the school have joined forces to revamp the children’s menu for patients on Alice Ward – the  dedicated children’s unit.

The project came about through the school’s Food and Nutrition class, with the aim of creating a fun and nutritious menu that the students would want to eat themselves, while also improving the school’s links within the community.

Dan Hoggett, Catering Manager at RJAH; and Sian Langford, Deputy Facilities Manager at RJAH; recently delivered some lessons to the class, ahead of the students coming into the hospital to try the dishes they designed, that the Catering team made to fit the nutritional criteria for the patients.

The hospital’s Dietitian Tony Twist also delivered a session on nutrition to the students.

Dishes the students designed included a chocolate beetroot cake – in a bid to hide vegetables within a tasty dessert. The students also came up with a number of other dishes including a Quorn spaghetti bolognaise, a risotto dish and a ‘pick your topping’ pizza style pasta.

Students also gave some suggestions to improve the overall appearance of the menus, including how they are presented, and the inclusion of images and puzzles for young patients to enjoy.

Suzanne Marsden, Alice Ward Manager, said the project was a “fantastic opportunity” to improve the overall experience on the ward.

She said: “We recently started to realise that our children’s menu was in need of an update and some fresh ideas, so when Sian suggested us working alongside the students at Llanfyllin, I welcomed the opportunity.

“Adults think we know what the youngsters want to eat but actually, nobody knows that better than the young people themselves. Their input has been absolutely invaluable and is already making a big difference to our patients, who are enjoying the new items on the menu.”

Sian said: “It’s been a really fantastic bit of teamwork between the hospital and the school. The students absolutely blew us away with their ideas, the standard was extremely high.

“At RJAH, we are proud to say our Catering team produce the best hospital food in the country but with the help of Llanfyllin High School students, we can say that we don’t rest on our laurels and always strive to do better where we can and this is an excellent example of that. Thank you to the students for their fantastic ideas.”

Robi Wood, Head of Design and Technology at Llanfyllin High School, added: “It’s a real focus for us as a school to develop improved links with industry and the community, and this project gave our students the chance to work on a live project in a real life setting.

“Students enjoyed the experience of helping to design the hospital’s children’s menu and were thrilled that their ideas were taken on board, and in turn are doing something good for the hospital’s young patients.

“Thank you to the hospital for this fantastic opportunity, which students have found to be of real value to them.”

Pictured: Robi Wood, Head of Design and Technology at Llanfyllin High School; Suzanne Marsden, Alice Ward Manager; and Llanfyllin High School students, who worked on the project.