I am writing before my usual blogs this week to share some really exciting news! As you may know, we have been running The Atrium Café at First Choice Homes Oldham for three years now. The Atrium is run by our staff and students and provides a catering service to First Choice Homes staff. A number of months ago, an opportunity came up to replicate this model at another major housing association in Oldham, The Guinness Partnership, which is based in Hollinwood, very close to New Bridge School and Hollinwood Academy. The building is much larger than the First Choice Homes building and houses nearly 800 staff!
Over the summer, I put together a proposal to take over the catering contract for Guinness, replicating the student-led model that we have in place with First Choice Homes Oldham. I am pleased to inform you that a couple of weeks ago we found out that our application was successful and we take over the catering contract at Guinness next month! The café at Guinness is also having a major refurb and will open officially in December.
This contract will once again open up so many doors for our young people and launches the start of a new partnership with a major Oldham employer. Our young people will have the opportunity to train on the job and to build skills around catering, hospitality and customer service! On a daily basis, they will organise a trolley run around the building, re-stock fridges and vending machines and also prepare and serve food supported by a dedicated team of job coaches. Guinness are also keen to work with our Group to provide further work placements across their business and potentially apprenticeship opportunities in the future. As with The Atrium, we will continue to use local suppliers to provide a service that supports businesses within our area.
Whilst this opportunity will be open to students from across our schools via our usual work placement referral scheme, we will be focusing initially on placing more young adults from New Bridge Horizons at The Guinness Partnership to build upon the excellent work that we have started through our new ‘TeamM8s’ scheme.
I will, of course, keep you up to speed with our progress via my Future Finders blog and my Key Stage 5 Pathways blog and I look forward to sending our first young people on placement at The Guinness Partnership after half term!
Director of Employability