Ecclesall Road Sheffield cafe helping out marginalised adults with hospitality training.

5 May 2022

A Sheffield cafe is offering training to help vulnerable people secure jobs within the hospitality industry.

Blend Kitchen, on Ecclesall Road, gives support to refugees, the unemployed, recovering substance users and those who suffer with their mental health.

The eatery gives those who access the initiative the opportunity to gain experience in the workplace.

Issy Aldergon, marketing manager, at Blend Kitchen, said: “We want to create a safe environment for vulnerable people, making it a place that can bring all communities together.”

Blend Kitchen, photo by @Beckpaynephotography

The establishment also offers weekly community events, including carer coffee mornings, mental health group open mic nights and older citizens’ Ukulele sessions, most of which are free of charge.

The ethos behind the non-profit social enterprise aims to bring people together in a space they feel comfortable using.

Their staff work hard to help people, who are in a difficult position, move into a more stable situation, enabling them to progress into other paid work or become permanent employees at the cafe.

Success stories include people from drug abuse programmes training to become chefs in Sheffield restaurants.

Ms Aldergon said: “We recently had a volunteer move from washing dishes to getting paid work in a restaurant. All we did was give him the starting ground to build on. We hope to create a safe environment that people can either stay on here or move onto the right place for them.”

Blend Kitchen also welcomes charities to use their space. In the past Mind, Flourish and Weston Park Cancer Charity have all used the cafe for events.

The eatery opened in Sheffield in 2016, initially based at Pinstone Street before the establishment moved to Ecclesall Road last year.

They are planning to celebrate their one year anniversary, by hosting a birthday party, at the new venue later this month.

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