Talented young Swindon chef's charity chutney fundraiser

By Barrie Hudson - 21 September 2022

  • Oscar and mum Alexandra

    Oscar and mum Alexandra

Budding chef Oscar Moulding is hoping his tasty pineapple, ginger and chilli chutney will be a hit for a good cause.

  • Oscar with Mandy Neate

    Oscar with Mandy Neate

Oscar, who has congenital muscular dystrophy, aims to raise money for Julia’s House children’s hospice.

The 14-year-old, from Old Town, developed his new chutney recipe with the help of his friend Mandy Neate, who sells her own homemade jams and chutneys through her small business, Little Bag of Herbs.

Mum Alexandra Moulding said: “Oscar’s always had a passion for cooking and would love to pursue a career in catering. Even though he can’t eat that much himself and can only really taste food, he feels like he’s doing something nice for other people. 

“Our friend Mandy said, ‘Why don’t I invite Oscar to my kitchen – he can come up with his own recipe and we’ll make it together and sell it for charity.’ On the day, Oscar was so excited and Mandy got him a little chef’s jacket with his name embroidered on it, which was so lovely of her. 

“Oscar chose his own main ingredients for the recipe – pineapple, ginger and chilli – and was completely involved through the whole process. I’m quite a chutney lover and I have to say it’s really yummy. It’s not too spicy so that it will blow your head off, but it’s really flavourful with a bit of a kick. 

"We’ve made about 50 jars initially which we’re confident will sell out quite quickly.”

Oscar, who studies cookery at Crowdys Hill specialist school in Swindon, said: “I felt really happy making the chutney and the best bit was putting it in the jars and seeing them all lined up. I felt very proud of myself.” 

The teenager has chosen to raise money for Julia’s House children’s hospice because the charity provides care and support for Oscar and his family in their home in Swindon.

Mandy Neate, who lives in Wroughton, said: “I feel honoured to support Oscar in his cookery journey and I hope we can raise lots of money to support Julia’s House. We had a fabulous day bringing Oscar’s chutney to life. He led the way and was absolutely amazing.

“There were a couple of things we both agreed on – that we didn’t like doing the onions and I ordered way too many pineapples!”

The chutney, which is called Oscar and Julia’s Pineapple Jamboree, will be on sale for £4.50 in a selection of local shops around Swindon and on the Little Bag of Herbs website - https://littlebagofherbs.uk/ 

Julia’s House provides bespoke care for every family it supports, with each family receiving around 200 hours of free care each year. 

Parents can choose when, where and how they receive their care – at home, in the community or at one of the charity’s two hospices in Devizes and Corfe Mullen – making it a truly flexible service. 

Julia’s House is there for the whole family, not just the sick child, providing emotional support and social opportunities for parents, grandparents and siblings to help break the cycle of anxiety and isolation that can lead a family to breaking point. 

More information can be found at www.juliashouse.org

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