Aylsham butchers help out with workplace scheme

Just Regional
Nov 25, 2015 3 mins read

An Aylsham businesses is helping unemployed people make the cut by boosting their confidence in the workplace.

Former Aylsham chef Andy Baker is bringing small groups to the town on a regular basis to learn new skills, including butchery at Coxfords in the Market Place.

Andy heads up The Feed, a social enterprise which produces great tasting food while inspiring and motivating people to live a more fulfilling life. All the profits go into LEAP (Learning Employment and Accommodation Project), to support hundreds of adults to transform their lives.

“Our aim is to help the long-term employed of those who are homeless gain work experience to boost their self-esteem and help them get back onto employment and sort their accommodation,” he said. “Currently we have around 100 clients who we are helping.”

Funding for the scheme has come from the National Lottery and the PCC and has given the team the chance to offer a 12-week programme to clients who need their help.

The Feed section of the organisation is based at Open in Norwich and provides outside catering for anything from office lunches to an evening menu or functions.

Andy said: “We have had some great support from local businesses like Coxfords offering people the chance to build up their work skills and confidence.” Bretts Fruit and Veg, Bread Source and Grey Seal Coffee are also supporters. He added: “We have even had a cow donated by a local farmer for the team to practise their butchery skills on.”

Other groups have had the chance to work within the building industry and even learning to make suits.

Andy, whose background is in catering, said the idea of the LEAP project was to become self-sustaining with the profits from the feed and from donations. He started as a volunteer before taking on his current role. He hopes to be in a position soon to take on a paid apprentice. His ultimate goal, however, is a The Feed restaurant in the city centre.

The Feed has had a busy year, having been involved in Norwich Food and Drink Festival, Porkstock, Battle of the Bangers and working alongside Charlie Hodgson at The Great Hospital.

Its next big event will be on December 3, when chefs will be providing mince pies for the Christmas gift fair at Open in Bank Plain. It’s free entry. The event will include the launch of #BuySocial, when The Feed will be selling British-made, aprons produced in local factories for Christmas.

You can follow @TheFeedCIC on twitter using #foodconnectspeople. There’s also websites www.norwichleap.co.uk and www.the-feed.co.uk where you can find out more and how you can get involved.


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