The PL1 kitchen at City College Plymouth has been in use over the past couple of weeks by a team preparing meals for frontline NHS workers at Derriford.
With the College only open to children of key workers, students with EHCPs and those with an assigned social worker, the usually busy training kitchen had been deserted since the Prime Minister announced the closure of schools and colleges across the UK; however, the kitchen, usually used by the College’s students and apprentices, recently reopened to a team of volunteer chefs, who were preparing meals for ambulance crews and hospital staff as part of the Food4Heroes initiative.
Carrying out this venture were former students Rich Henderson, who now works for chef Tom Aikens in London, Rachael Nosworthy, who works for CATERed, Joe Cotton, from Acleaf at the Boringdon Hall Hotel, and Connor Hawkings of Rockfish Plymouth. They were joined by local food hero Peter Gorton, and Food is Fun demo cook Glen Bird. The team of chefs, who didn’t know each other before this venture, formed a cohesive team, who made meals for ambulance crew and a number of shielding hospital staff
Food4Heroes is a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers, set up at the start of lockdown to provide NHS workers with fresh healthy nutritious meals at no cost to them.
Chef lecturer at City College, Richard Farleigh, said: “The College was approached by Rich Henderson about setting up an arm of Food4Heroes here in Plymouth, and we were more than happy to be able to support this venture. Once the College had put in place the appropriate measures to ensure social distancing, we were able to get down to work and meals have started to be delivered.”
Food4Heroes Regional Director for the South West, Steve Tipping, said: “A couple of weeks ago our service went live in the Exeter area and I am delighted that we are now providing meals to the NHS staff at Derriford. I am particularly excited about what we are doing in Devon because it represents a really strong community story.
“City College Plymouth kindly offered us the opportunity to use their well-equipped premises to prepare food and enabled our team of chefs to use their skills to provide nutritious meals for our much-loved NHS frontline.
“We are delighted to support local food businesses, keeping chefs cooking during the lockdown and to work with local food suppliers during these challenging times. The support they have shown has been fantastic.
“To continue to provide this vital service, Food4Heroes is encouraging anyone who wants support the scheme to donate by visiting www.crowdfunder.co.uk/food4heroes-south-west or to give £10 please text F4HSW to 70191.”