Fundraising for The Larder is a great way to support our organisation whilst also involving your friends, family or community! Whether it’s a coffee morning, a bake sale or a sky dive, we support you!
All donations made to The Larder go directly to supporting those who have not been given a fair advantage in life. To understand the support we provide and the changes it makes to people’s lives, see our beneficiary stories by clicking the link below.
If you’d like to find out more information about fundraising for The Larder then speak to us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Mirhan joined The Larder in mid-2017 as a skills training programme. Mirhan had always been a hard worker, but had found that she did not flourish in the traditional school environment and had left school with no formal qualifications. Mirhan had complex family circumstances and this, combined with her lack of formal qualifications and work experience, contributed to ongoing poor mental health and a lack of self-belief.
The Larder proved to be a transformational experience for Mirhan. Being made aware of the opportunity through Skills Development Scotland, one of The Larder’s partner organisations, she initially joined the team as a Café/Kitchen assistant. After demonstrating her commitment to the role and a willingness to work hard and succeed, she soon progressed to the role of Trainee Chef within The Larder.
She completed her SQA qualifications in record time and, in 2019, was awarded the Modern Apprenticeship of the Year (SCQF Level 5) award at the Skills Development Scotland Scottish Apprenticeship Awards. In addition, she was granted The Centre, Livingston’s Local Hero Award.
Mirhan’s journey illustrated that a supportive environment that recognises and nurtures ability alongside training tailored to an individual’s needs, makes it possible for an individual to identify and remove barriers, providing them opportunities for continued personal development and enabling them to reach their full potential.
“I’m proud of myself and how far I’ve come compared to where I would have been two years ago. The Larder believed in me and gave me the confidence to believe in myself. They supported me to be all that I could be, gain qualifications and help me find a job in my chosen career. I am an example of how far you can go given the right support.”
Mirhan is set to be a future star of the industry and has already taken up a role at the Kyloe Restaurant in the Rutland Hotel, Edinburgh.
Sean, 18, a care-experienced young adult originally from Glasgow but living in Winchburgh was initially referred to us by Skills Development Scotland as he was looking to get back into some sort of routine after leaving school early. He had been a non-attender at school so did not complete many subjects and lacked qualifications. Since leaving school he had spent a lot of time at home not engaging with anything and so this was a positive first step for him to start turning his life around.
He was initially interested in our EF Professional cookery course as he wanted to see whether he would enjoy this as a potential future job and also wanted to get better at cooking in general. After attending the course for a few weeks he realised that this wasn’t for him, so he was offered to move into our Employability course which he accepted.
Heather, training coordinator at The Larder said about Sean:
“Sean was one of the first students I met when I began working for The Larder myself, and he was very quiet. He appeared very shy and anxious but was a good listener and a hard-worker. The more I got to know him it was evident that he was ready to make a positive change to his life and wanted to correct the choices he had made when he was younger by returning to education and gaining further qualifications. He completed both Stage 2 and Stage 3 Employability Fund courses with us so worked with us for approximately 24 weeks.”
His confidence over his duration on the course grew a lot and by the end he was confident to perform role plays for Customer Service practise and presented projects researched and created by himself as part of his Personal Development Award. He was always striving to better himself and didn’t like being stuck at home during lockdown with little to do so was heard to ask me for more work to do at home at times! Sean was also awarded Student of the Month in February for his excellent work.
As much as Sean has remained a quiet individual, it is clear that his confidence in his own abilities has grown massively. He has invested a lot of his own time researching college courses and has applied for both short courses beginning in the upcoming months as well as full-time courses beginning in August. Despite many offers to help, he has made a point of doing this work on his own, writing his own personal statement which was excellent! I am excited to see where his future will take him and proud of the journey he has taken with The Larder.
Sean said this about the course:
“When I first started I was really nervous, now that I have finished I have a huge confidence boost. I have already been applying for multiple jobs and courses which I probably wouldn’t have done before I started this. I haven’t done much since leaving school, doing this helped get my mind back on track and really think about the future. Hopefully I will be doing something I am passionate about in the near future.”
Jade is a 29-year-old woman with several adverse childhood experiences; she was looked after as a child and teenager, experienced addictions, low educational attainment, poverty and had never worked. She became a mum at a very young age, and her own children had been removed and put in care. When she joined the programme, she had mental health conditions, was a recovering addict and her children were back in her care. Her priority was to gain qualifications and work experience and move into a positive destination
She started the EF programme at stage two of the employability pipeline in our training academy at Brewster Square and we were able to fit her training programme around her childcare needs. After 10 weeks she progressed to stage 3 at our Fauldhouse Café where she gained work experience and was supported to apply for college.
She gained hospitality and employability qualifications at SCQF level 3 and 4, which was higher than she previously held.
She showed commitment and a zest for learning and was very soon supporting the chef in the kitchen, which was her preferred career direction. This helped her build her confidence at which point she went on work placement to Fauldhouse Café.
Whilst working in the kitchen she had responsibility for preparing the chef’s specials and showed her flair and creativity by creating her own take on traditional meals. She showed great leadership and developed her skills front of house whilst supporting and mentoring other trainees and staff. Her customer service skills excelled and it was clear that she was ready for a positive destination
Jade moved into a SCQF Level 4 course at West Lothian College which she successfully completed and was accepted onto the level 5 course due to start in August 2020.
The Larder programme was the catalyst for this young woman to change her life and make a positive change in direction. The Larder supported her to develop her confidence, self-worth, skills and qualifications as well as assisting her to make an application for college to start in January 2020.
“The Larder supported me on the first steps of my journey to be a chef. They took into consideration my family circumstances and learning needs and developed a bespoke programme for me. Through their programme I was able to gain qualifications, skills and experience to move into college and study to be a chef. Without the course, the flexibility offered and the belief in me I would not have been able to take the first steps needed to start my career journey at the age of 29. Thank you”
Kelly is a young, independent woman with two wonderful children. She had a long and successful career as a florist, living in her own home as an active working mum. In early 2020, Kelly lost her job as a result of COVID-19. She had recently started a new relationship which was going extremely well, so she decided to sell her home and move her and her children into her new partner’s home.
Kelly was referred to us in late October 2020 as she was homeless, fleeing domestic abuse, reduced benefits due to loans and with her children in the care of their father.
Within the first few weeks of living with her new partner, the relationship turned sour and the violence began. She supported him and forgave as he promised to change but the violence and abuse continued. This environment became so unsafe, she fled with only the clothes on her back.
Now homeless and unemployed, Kelly placed the care of her children to their father until she could get herself back on her feet. She had no family support and only a few friends, only one of which would allow her to wash her clothes at their home.
Kelly has been living in homeless hotels in West Lothian for 5 months, with no clear indication of when she will move to temporary tenancy. She is thankful to have a roof over her head but is frustrated and mentally exhausted from the lack of support and information given to her at her greatest time of need. For 5 months, Kelly has been living off of ‘instant snacks’ and foods with no nutritional value.
Kelly was referred to us after 5 months without a hot or nutritious meal. She is incredibly thankful to The Larder’s Catalyst Kitchen as to have a few nourishing meals a week is ‘lifesaving’. She is trying to stay positive and awaiting the news of a home so she can be reunited with her children.
Her aim is to move on from this, to have a happy home with her two children once and to be a working mum once again.
Becca has an autistic son and suffers from long-term health difficulties. She was struggling with a lack of support and was feeling isolated throughout this challenging time. She had been placed on new medication for her health which wasn’t agreeing with her leaving her tired and having to sleep more regularly. Having meals from our kitchen delivered directly to her meant that she didn’t have to worry about having the energy to go to the shop or stand for a long time cooking. She called us to give us her feedback on the meals:
“The quality of food has been great. The variety has been exceptional. We’re both gluten free so we are aware it’s difficult and we appreciate the extra mile staff have gone too. My son has sensory issues so struggles with food and I honestly didn’t think he would eat different things but he has eaten at least 80% of meals delivered which is more than when I’m cooking. He also gets really excited to see what’s in the bag. The melon and Pineapple juice were real winners.
We love that sometimes there is something a bit random in there like a bar we haven’t tried or a loaf of bread. It’s like a present on the doorstep. The drivers are always so lovely. They always drop the bag, knock and stand back and say hi. So important when you don’t see other people.
I know our support worker has booked us in for a few more weeks, I have to say it’s a huge relief. I’ve always had to manage before when I’ve been ill, I feel like there is a little team of people who care around us this time and its honestly beautiful. Thanks so much for the food and more than that, the gesture that means were not alone and people care’
Dean and Alice were referred to us through the West Lothian Housing Needs team when they first moved into their temporary tenancy. They were experiencing financial hardship, difficulties with the benefit system and bereavement from the recent loss of a child. Dean was struggling to eat and was experiencing severe and rapid weight loss, both were struggling with poor mental health. Through the provision of cooked chilled meals from our Catalyst Kitchen, they had reported that Dean was eating better and began to gain weight again. Dean and Alice told us that they didn’t know what they would have done without our service; they said it was truly invaluable.