Sheffield social enterprise restaurant trains over 100 people in first year of operation

A Sheffield based social enterprise restaurant has been able to train over 100 people who have struggled to find work since opening its doors a year ago.

Blend Kitchen provides training and employment support to people furthest from the jobs market, including people with mental health conditions, people who have overcome homelessness and substance misuse, young people not in education, employment or training, people with learning disabilities and parents wanting to return to work after raising their children.

Founded in 2016 by Chris Hanson, the team have grown the organisation to 25 employees, and a turnover in 2021 of around £400k.

Lewis, a Blend Kitchen employee who is autistic, said: “I feel independent when working at Blend Kitchen, and love working as a bartender. It has really helped me to think about what job opportunities are open to me in the future.”

Sandra, who joined the team in September 2021 commented: “Blend Kitchen has helped me move forward into paid work and build up my confidence. It’s helped me meet new people and widen my social network”.

Sheffield businesses, including Twinkl Educational Publishing, have provided support to help Blend Kitchen expand its community work during 2022. This includes delivering training programmes for young people out of education, work with ex-offenders and more.

David Angrave, chief operating officer at Twinkl, said, “It’s been an absolute joy to be able to support Blend Kitchen’s mission. Not only is the enterprise championing an important cause, their food and hospitality skills are excellent, and well loved by Twinkl employees.”

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