Independent hospitality food service provider, BaxterStorey, has donated approx £1,700 to help set up ‘Beyond The Classroom’ – a new initiative aiming to support young people who sit outside of mainstream education.The programme, developed and launched by the Beyond Food Foundation (BFF), will offer a broad range of support, ranging from work experience placements, training and mentoring. It is aimed at supporting young adults who may be leaving the care system, known to the criminal justice system or who are educated outside of mainstream education. BaxterStorey made the donation after raising the funds through its Society sandwich range – a grab and go range and coffee brand which offers sandwiches and wraps using fresh, and locally sourced ingredients, During the festive period, a percentage of each ‘Society’ sandwich sold across BaxterStorey locations in the UK was donated to the charity. ‘Beyond The Classroom’ has been launched following a successful pilot where the BFF team worked closely with three teenagers who spent time in Brigade Bar + Kitchen. Each student has been given the opportunity to understand the impact of working in a team setting – they have each picked up practical life skills and real work experience that will help them to progress their careers. Students are taught by industry respected chefs and introduced to inspirational people who are able to share their life journey, and offer insights into how to overcome barriers. As part of the programme, students will visit marketplaces, coffee shops and farms, as well as experience eating in well-known London restaurants. They will learn to create balanced menus, understand how to budget and shop for appropriate ingredients, and taught how to prepare and cook fresh food for themselves and for others. They will also learn how to use kitchen equipment safely through a range of professional led workshops, developing specialist talents such as Barista skills. Greg Bramwell, Director of Food, BaxterStorey, said: “We’re incredibly proud to be supporting Beyond Food with their ‘Beyond the Classroom” programme through our Society festive range. “It’s a fantastic example of doing good through the power of food. We hope the money raised by our wonderful customers and operations teams goes a small way to supporting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in giving them a life changing opportunity to gain work experience.” Beyond Food Foundation Founder, Simon Boyle, added: “This is an incredible programme with real employment opportunities for kids that need someone to inspire and support them into building a future for themselves. “The support of the industry is so important and there is always more we can do to support people into work, specifically those from disadvantaged backgrounds. “To date, we have helped 1,500 people into paid work and changed their lives. Why wouldn’t more companies want to play a part in creating opportunity for a young person to build a future and career within hospitality?”
BFF is currently liaising with 12 Pupil Referral Units across London, looking at long term programmes that will influence students aged 11-17 as well as school leavers who need support into work. The next programme is set to launch later this summer, with plans to offer placements across the hospitality industry.