On Wednesday 12th February, three young people supported by our charity had the very unique experience of gaining skills by spending the day in a professional kitchen.
In collaboration with The Feed, a social enterprise catering business and café in Norwich, the trio were supported to build on the knowledge they had recently gained following the completion of Level 1 certificates in Food Hygiene and cooking skills as part of The Benjamin Foundation Employability Skills course, delivered by our Job Coach Sharon Coggins and Employability Coach, Kim Wood.
Sharon explains: “This is a super opportunity for some of our young people to gain an insight into a professional kitchen thanks to the courses that are offered by The Feed. This will be a first for the young people and it’s thanks to funding by New Anglia LEP and Norfolk Community Foundation.”
Expertly guided through each step by The Feed’s Gemma Harvey, Callum, Ashley and Hayley were given a tour of the kitchen, information about Health and Safety and Food Hygiene, they talked about ingredients and allergens to be aware of, before getting stuck into making roasted vegetables and two different kinds of houmous from scratch.
Ashley said: “Apart from some cooking on the Employability course, I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m going to learn how to make houmous!”
Hayley added: “The best thing so far has been preparing and putting everything together. This houmous tastes much better than any I’ve had before!”
Later in the day, the group also made Rocky Road, Triple Chocolate Brownies and had the opportunity to learn the skills of a barista. Callum said: “I’ve tried food I’d never had before – I didn’t think I liked houmous! It’s really good to have a day like this. I would definitely do it again.”
With profits from The Feed’s catering business and cafe supporting their training and coaching for people who have been at risk of homelessness, had mental health problems, addiction issues, an offence history, or other major barriers to employment, the opportunity to work in collaboration was welcome.
As a result of this session, one of the group has already signed up for four weeks work experience with The Feed.
Catering Enterprise Manager, Gemma said: “I just love sharing knowledge and seeing people try things for the first time. It’s wonderful to see their confidence and ability grow – the difference is absolutely amazing.”
The Feed Café is on Prince of Wales Rd, Norwich and is open Monday to Friday 8am – 3pm. For more information, please visit https://thefeed.org.uk/
I consider myself very lucky to work for The Benjamin Foundation- I have been encouraged and supported to take on more challenges and can honestly say I am never bored!