Come togetherPosted by: Richard Abbey
L-R: Chris Hanson, founder Blend; John Seaton, CEO Twinkl; David Angrave, COO Twinkl; Justin Rowntree, project manager Blend
What do you get when you cross a music legend, global education publisher and a local business? A bigger and better Sheffield social enterprise restaurant, that’s what.
The city-based social enterprise and not-for-profit restaurant, Blend Kitchen, is moving to a new Ecclesall Road location.
The organisation, which provides hospitality training and paid work experience to vulnerable adults and marginalised groups, is planning to expand after receiving support from Sheffield’s rock ‘n’ roll troubadour Richard Hawley, the global educational publisher Twinkl, and a growing number of local businesses.
The ambitious plans faced disaster from a ‘perfect storm’ of Covid-19, economic downturn, reduced funding and the scheduled demolition of its city centre premises. But now it’s work has been recognised and backed by a growing army of local support meaning Blend Kitchen still has ambitious plans to expand, against the grain of the hospitality industry's current crisis.
Thanks to a significant cash injection from online educational publishing house Twinkl and the offer of a new prime location at their Sheffield HQ on Ecclesall Road, the autumn opening of a new restaurant, events space and hospitality training facility for Blend Kitchen is back on track.
Mercury Prize nominee and Sheffield’s most revered troubadour Richard Hawley, has offered his support and joined Blend Kitchen as its patron. He said: “I can think of no higher honour than to be asked to lend my name as patron to a place that gives people a sense of worth and value in this world whilst at the same time teaching them skills to secure that worth and value on their own.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all the Blend team the very best of wishes for a brighter future. I look forward to seeing you all very soon, can’t wait... it’ll be something I’ll relish.”
Although Twinkl has contributed significantly to the project and the majority of the funding has been secured, the social enterprise needs further critical financial support to transform the empty space. Blend’s project manager and fundraiser Justin Rowntree, this week launches an invitation to sponsors and a crowdfunding campaign. Email Justin for sponsorship packages.
To find out more about Blend Kitchen, click here.