FORMER offenders will cater for more than 300 guests at a charity event this week, thanks to a project which claims to significantly reduce reoffending rates.

The Move On project, run by Action for Children, claims that 80% of young men taking part in its Yes Chef programme do not commit another offence within two years, compared with an average of 50-55%.

The six offenders from Inverclyde and Renfrewshire have been trained for seven weeks, and two teams will compete to wow diners at the fundraising dinner on Thursday at Glasgow's Grand Central Hotel.

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They will be offered work experience placements in some of the city's best res-taurants, such as Browns, Soho, Red Onion and Chardon d'Or.

Action for Children has recently been given funding by the Scottish Government to extend the programme, which intervenes with young offenders as they prepare to leave prison.

Darren Tipping, 22, from Port Glasgow, was jailed in 2010, following a violent incident involving a knife.

"I want to get the message across that just because you've been in prison you don't have to be on that road the rest of your life," he said.

Although he is diagnosed with ADHD, he says drink and drugs were more responsible for his offending.

"I don't like using that as an excuse. I messed up," he said.

However with a fiancée and a five-year-old son, he is determined not to do so again, he says.