GRUBS UP EXPANDS!
Original article appeared in the Plymouth Shopper Magazine in July 2008.
Entrepreneurs Bootcamp™ Graduate Jayne Sutherland’s catering business, which helps disadvantaged young people gain industry-recognised qualifications, is proving so successful that it has recently taken on additional space to create a training centre.
The Grub’s Up Catering Crew is based at the Wolseley Trust Business Park in Ford and operates as a non-profit making social enterprise. The organisation provides catering services to outside events, operating with a team of young people who are given the chance to learn how to cook under the guidance of a highly-qualified chef. The expansion means that the range of training will also develop from food hygiene, nutrition, first aid, and craft to include NVQs and progression awards in catering and business administration.
Jayne Sutherland, Managing Director of Grub’s Up said that the additional space means that it can more than double the number of youngsters who can be trained during the course of a year. Grub’s Up currently has 23 youngsters on its books, but that is expected to increase to more than 40 by September. The size of the kitchen is being doubled over the next couple of months to enable more young people to work at any one time.
Youngsters spend up to two days a week at Grub’s Up, part of the time spent working in the kitchens and the rest of the time either in skills for life training sessions or preparing their NVQ submissions. They are not paid for their time at Grub’s Up, other than any benefits or allowances to which they may be entitled. Jayne said: “It is particularly gratifying to see the young people growing in confidence and self-esteem. Most of our young people come from difficult backgrounds, often having been in care homes or living with foster parents. The majority of them have few qualifications and often need help with basic life skills, including numeracy and literacy.”
Jayne continued “Young people who have attended training at the centre will go out into Plymouth and be much better prepared for the work place by offering themselves as well prepared and well-rounded individuals. Apart from learning essential catering skills and the importance of healthy eating, they also learn generic life skills such as working as a team, multi tasking, health and safety and time management. Most importantly they will have learnt from the Grub’s Up Crew the satisfaction gained from hard work and the importance of achieving one’s potential.”
The breakthrough for Grub’s Up came last November when they secured funding from the Learning Skills Council for the programme, which enabled the enterprise to take on a highly qualified chef and an NVQ training assessor. Apart from the funding from the Learning Skills Council, Jayne Sutherland attributes the success of Grub’s Up to her involvement in the 2007 Entrepreneurs Bootcamp. Jayne was one of 11 candidates who took part in the 2007 Bootcamp and she was the first to achieve her goals of expansion and development as a training centre.
Jayne said: “This would not have happened if it was not for Bootcamp – it has given me so much. It’s given me the confidence to phone someone up to say ‘I want this’ knowing who to contact, and knowing that Sue Windley and Carrie Story, the Bootcamp designers are in the background. I didn’t class myself as a business person before, but I do now – it’s given me marketing, finance and presentation skills.” She added: “I started the Bootcamp very cynically with the attitude ‘there’s no way you’re going to do to me what you say you will’ then I came out and it has been amazing.”
Sue Windley, co-designer of the Entrepreneurs Bootcamp™, added: “Jayne has been one of our stars of the Bootcamp and we are so pleased to see her achieve what she originally set out to do so quickly. All the Bootcamp participants benefit from the networking opportunities that are opened up to them and Jayne has been particularly successful in this respect. Now she is re-assessing her goals to aim for even more success. What is so brilliant about Jayne’s success is that she is running a social enterprise that truly gives back to the local community – and it is the skills of being an entrepreneur that has enabled her to do this.”
Sue said that she hopes Jayne will be involved in next year’s Bootcamp possibly as an advisor on the benefits of operating social enterprises. For more information on Grub’s Up Catering Crew including the catering services or training opportunities offered, go to the Grubs_Up_Website.