Our catering training scheme, The Back Kitchen Project, which started in October 2017, aims to support members of the homeless community into future employment, by helping them gain valuable qualifications to add to their CV.
We run 10-week classes, for 10 people at a time, where students have the opportunity to attain level 1 and 2 food hygiene certificates.
One of the most rewarding parts of the programme is the time the students spend aboard our Back Kitchen catering pod; a food truck that can be found at council and community events around the city. This gives them the chance to put their new found skills into action. They can also learn new skills such as cash handling and customer service.
We’ve found these schemes to be immensely valuable to the students we work with, providing them with a sense of community, practical techniques for managing stress and a huge boost to their self-esteem whilst growing their employment prospects and their practical catering skills.
Students are encouraged to support each other, work together and encourage each other to move in a positive direction. Craig, who helps teach our students, believe that the scheme does a whole lot of good;
‘They’re getting the opportunity to get a placement and a job after they’ve finished. When you’re homeless you don’t think you’re ever going to get a job again.’
‘I think it gives them hope for the future. They’re getting out and meeting new friends and gaining qualifications that they didn’t think they could get. They’re learning to cook for themselves, which a lot of people can’t do.’
We asked past students to describe their 10-week journey with The Back Kitchen Project; here’s what they had to say:
‘It gave me hope’
‘The Back Kitchen was a lifeline that gave me hope and inspired me to a better future.’
‘It eased my mind and helped me learn how to manage my stress and anxiety. It made me stronger’
The scheme is available to anyone experiencing homelessness. Referrals should be made by support workers and hostel staff.