Unique Wakefield catering company teams up with the NHS
The dining room at Fieldhead in Wakefield is being taken over by a local social enterprise caterer, Catering Plus Ltd. The Fieldhead site, Ouchthorpe Lane, belongs to South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust and is home to specialist NHS mental health and learning disability services, including the Yorkshire Centre for Forensic Psychiatry. The Fieldhead dining room is used by NHS staff, service users, carers and visitors.
Catering Plus is a "people before profit" company that aims to expand employment prospects for people with mental health problems who are trying to return to work. It offers training and learning opportunities as well as the chance for people to build up their self esteem. They already run a successful dining room at Castleford and Normanton District Hospital as well as the recently opened Oasis Café, on the Fieldhead site.
Catering Plus will provide a new menu to encourage staff, service users and carers to eat a healthy diet and offer a wholesome variety of meals that are home-made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
General Manager and founder of Catering Plus, Sue Chambers said, "Catering Plus enables me to provide a high level of quality, healthy and good value food whilst opening up genuine career opportunities for people with mental health problems. We will be offering a special food delivery service at Fieldhead, which we are hoping volunteers from the wards will be interested in helping out with. This will get people off the wards and involved in some real work experience."
The Trust’s Director of Human Resources and Workforce Development Alan Davis said, "Contracting Catering Plus Ltd to take over the dining room at Fieldhead is a very positive move for the Trust. As well as making it easier for staff and people who use services to make healthier choices, we are also opening up opportunities for people with mental health problems to gain valuable work experience. The Trust is committed to supporting initiatives that help people with mental health problems get back into employment and being able to work with a company that shares this goal is fantastic."
The Fieldhead dining room will be open from 8.30am – 2pm Monday to Friday and will serve a range of hot and cold food. The Oasis café, also on the Fieldhead site is open from 10.30am until 5.00pm Monday-Friday and 10.30am – 3.00pm at weekends. From 2nd February it will serve hot drinks homemade cakes and sandwiches. Both facilities are also open to the public.