10 May 2012
Clients from St Mungo's are celebrating their successful graduation from a ten week catering training course based at the charity's Pound Lane Centre in Brent.
The Can Cook Will Cook course is run in partnership with catering company Caterplus and is led by executive chef Hugh McGivern. Over the ten weeks the trainees were taught how to cook sweet and savoury dishes, made bread, and learned about kitchen equipment, food safety and hygiene.
The final challenge this week was to cook a slap up ‘Great British Menu' for around 30 friends, family and supporters at St Mungo's Pound Lane Centre, a place that provides accommodation as well as health, skills and employment services for homeless people.
The six successful trainee chefs now have the opportunity to be selected for an advanced training programme leading to a paid apprenticeship with Caterplus Services.
Certificates were awarded at the graduation meal by Geoff Martin, Group Editor of Archant North London Newspapers.
Martin Snowdon, St Mungo's employment team manager, said: "Hugh and the team at Caterplus have designed an excellent programme. Courses like these are important in helping develop particular skills but also vital in boosting people's motivation, will power and self esteem. Having come this far, our hope is that these successful graduates go on to develop their skills further, through apprenticeships, further training and then into long term jobs."
Paul Robottom, Managing Director of Caterplus, added; "Working in partnership with St Mungo's, we are firmly committed to providing more than just food and this programme continues to be a successful way of helping to meet St Mungo's objectives of getting people into long term work. The course has been a massive hit with everyone involved and feedback from the trainees has been brilliant."
The catering training course is one of many run by St Mungo's Skills and Employment department. Others include British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) qualifications, the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card training, first aid training, literacy and numeracy support, career counselling, IT training and other benefits advice and support in finding employment.
Opened in 2010, the St Mungo's Pound Lane Centre in Brent provides accommodation for 85 homeless people, including 14 self-contained studio flats. The centre is also a place for residents and community groups to take part in social and skills activities, from IT training to cookery, health, exercise and art classes.