On Monday night some of the from babies with love volunteers and I ate at the wonderful social enterprise, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen.
As soon as you walk in the door you see the chefs at work in the open style kitchen and feel the buzzing atmosphere. We began with a delicious sharing board of antipasti and enjoyed main courses such as gnocchi with artichokes and prosciutto and “frutti di mare” risotto. Scrumptious stuff!
Now celebrating 10 years, 109 apprentices have graduated from the Fifteen programme, which aims to empower young people and give them skills to change their lives. Many of the apprentices have had difficult backgrounds, are struggling to find work and have left mainstream education. Whilst gaining a professional chef qualification, they complete work experience in one of the Fifteen restaurants, and the majority of apprentices go on to secure professional jobs.
As well as thanking our volunteers for their amazing work, and enjoying the delicious food, I visited Fifteen to buy my first Christmas present, as part of my social enterprise Christmas challenge. This year I’m buying all my presents from social enterprises; if I can buy gorgeous products from businesses that have social aims, not only am I going to give great gifts, I’m going to feel great knowing that I’m helping amazing people create social benefits.
Fifteen was a brilliant place to start! The Fifteen shop sells a range of gifts such as food, t-shirts and cookbooks. I chose the irresistible “Big Box of Love”. Beautifully presented in a cool wooden box, it’s for an aunt and uncle, who love all things delicious. Inside they’ll find prosceco, olive oil and balsamic vinegar amongst other treats. And best of all, the box design includes some quick snippets of information about the apprentice programme, so my aunt and uncle will enjoy their goodies and enjoy knowing how the apprentices will benefit.
Needless to say I highly recommend! Congratulations to all the apprentices and Fifteen team; we had a wonderful evening and the opportunities you provide to #BuySocial are fantastic! Check out the Fifteen shop for some fantastic xmas presents: http://www.fifteenshop.net/engine/shop/index.html