Visiting Newton House: David Wainfur, Riverside General Manager; Richard Medwell , Riverside Support Worker; Steve Holdsworth of Church Housing Trust; Jade Mitchell, Newton House resident; and Mathew Waddington, Partner at Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Law firm helps fund training kitchen

A local law firm trust, Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ Charitable Trust, has donated £500 towards a residents’ training kitchen at Newton House in Gloucester.

Newton House is a Riverside ECHG supported housing scheme, with 50 bedspaces for single homeless people with a variety of support needs including mental health problems, substance and alcohol misuse, and a history of rough sleeping. Many of the staff at Newton House have Health and Hygiene certificates, but at the moment there is nowhere for them to hold cooking lessons.

Residents at the scheme showed a real interest and enthusiasm for a proper training kitchen and the opportunity to take part in skills sessions and communal meals. Since then they have been involved in deciding what their new kitchen will look like and what equipment will be needed.

Experience at similar housing schemes has shown that having a modern and well-equipped kitchen is enormously beneficial to the residents. Not only does it enable them to acquire practical skills in cooking, healthy eating, and food preparation and hygiene, but it also provides the opportunity for them to learn to work as part of a team and socialise with fellow residents and staff.

Attending regular cooking clubs helps residents gain the skills and confidence to be able to cook healthy meals for themselves; something hugely important when helping formerly homeless people live independent lives.

Trust Fundraising Manager at Church Housing Trust, Steve Holdsworth, said: “As a charity we are reliant on donations to support Riverside’s housing schemes. Once a homeless person is safely in a supported housing scheme, Riverside will use our funding to help them get back on track and able to re-enter society. Their support staff will work closely with each person to determine their needs, whether it be help finding work, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, or simply building trust and social skills.”

Partner at Harrison Clark Rickerbys and Trustee of Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ Charitable Trust, Mathew Waddington, commented: “In today’s challenging economic climate we feel that it is particularly important to support Church Housing Trust, which in turn provides a home to the homeless and support to vulnerable people which helps them regain their independence and resettle in the community. We are pleased to have been able to provide financial support to help them refurbish their training kitchen. With one of our offices based in Cheltenham, we are pleased to help give back to the community within which we operate.”

Church Housing Trust would like to express its thanks to Harrison Clark Rickerbys.