New catering partnership launched

Meal times will never be the same again at Handyside Court in Derby after YMCA Derbyshire teamed up with Housing 21 to provide the tenants with full-time catering services.

In a brand new venture, YMCA Derbyshire has taken on the contract to provide meals and snacks for the tenants of the extra care housing scheme for older people, run by Housing 21. The service, which will be provided seven days a week throughout the year, will be run by YMCA Derbyshire’s full-time staff and young people on its training programmes. It will be operated under the auspices of YMCA Derbyshire’s new commercial arm, Campus Catering – a profit-making social enterprise. The partnership will mean that the tenants can look forward to delicious food served in their restaurant, while YMCA Derbyshire’s learners on Hospitality & Catering and Health & Social Care programmes will gain valuable work experience. The project will also give an opportunity for the young people and older residents to get to know one another in a safe and mutually respectful environment.

Gillian Sewell, Chief Executive of YMCA Derbyshire, said: “We are delighted to be embarking on this ground-breaking partnership with Housing 21. The project will benefit both the tenants of Handyside Court and our own young people on Foundation Learning programmes. I am particularly pleased to be working with Housing 21 because our own aims and vision coincide so closely.”

One of YMCA Derbyshire’s learners on a work placement at Handyside Court is 18-year-old Sean Taylor, studying on the Health and Social Care Foundation Learning programme. He said: “I’d like to get a job caring for older people at the end of the programme. I enjoy talking about old times with them and getting to know them.”

Pushpa Raguvaran, Chief Executive of Housing 21 said: “I think this is a wonderful initiative. Intergenerational projects such as this are to be encouraged and bring great value, both to the students and to our residents. I hope that it may be possible to replicate this elsewhere.”