The Pulp Friction Canteen is located at the Nottinghamshire Fire Services Headquarters near Bestwood Park in Nottingham. It is open Monday to Friday and prepares food exclusively for NFRS staff and their visitors.
The canteen is a real working kitchen where members have the opportunity to help prepare food and cater for daily lunchtime service. There are also opportunities to prepare and deliver buffets to events and training venues. The atmosphere is friendly, busy and purposeful. Members learn and develop a new set of skills and complement the skills they have already. We aim to build members self-confidence, work readiness and independence skills.
Throughout the day members work as a team with each other and staff members. Individuals can work at their own pace to ensure they learn new skills in a safe environment without feeling under pressure. We follow the ‘Let’s Get Cooking’ model of food skill and food preparation.
It is our aim to enable individuals to obtain food hygiene and first aid qualifications as part of their experience. Many of our members achieve a level 2 in Food Hygiene and hold basic first aid qualifications.
A day at the Pulp Friction Canteen
9.30 am – Morning Meeting, plan morning and assign job roles.
10.45 am- Drinks Break- Evaluate how jobs are going and assign lunch job roles
Lunch Service Ends- Lunch Break
2.30 pm – Assign afternoon job roles, tidy up and put everything away
3.30 pm-4.00 pm Team bonding activities and end of day
Adam is 35 he has had a part-time job at KFC for 15 years, potting up side orders and taking food to cars. He joined Pulp Friction in April 2018. He has learnt:
- Customer service skills
- How to use the till
- How to manage his behaviour in a work environment
Adam’s family have told him they have seen big improvements in him and are proud of him for continuing to move forward.
‘We have a laugh and a joke- everyone here is happy’
Dan is 24 and has been involved with Pulp Friction since 2016.
He enjoys loading the dishwasher and working at the NJM Café. He likes helping with the smoothie bike at events and has learnt to:
- Make cakes and salads
- Chop vegetables
- Use different coloured chopping boards
- Load dishwasher
- Use the till
‘I like speaking to people and cooking at Pulp Friction’
James is 26 and comes to Pulp Friction every Thursday. James doesn’t communicate verbally; he answers yes and no questions by signalling to the right for yes and left for no.
James likes coming to Pulp Friction and has learnt new things here. He has made friends with other members. At Pulp Friction he has:
- Helped weigh food
- Made cakes
- Chopped food
- Tidied up
Jenna is 28 and has been with Pulp Friction for almost 2 years. She works in the kitchen and has learnt to:
- To chop vegetables
- Keep surfaces clean
- Put away pots
Jenna works well in a team; she often loads the dishwasher with Will. Jenna says her family have seen a difference in her since she began at Pulp Friction, she is more confident and outgoing and can help out at home.
‘It’s a really good organisation and it gets me out during the week, I love it.’
Michelle is 29 and has been with Pulp Friction for 6 weeks, she has enjoyed meeting new people during her time here. She has also learnt new skills including:
- Chopping vegetables
- Decorating cakes
- Understanding safety in the kitchen
She hopes to get a job at Pulp Friction in the future.
‘When I am here, I have fun and learn new things, I learn more when I’m having fun’
Simmy is 24 and is currently on a work readiness placement to help her decide if she wants to join Pulp Friction, during her time here she has gained work experience skills within the kitchen, she has made friends with other members and feels happy when she is here. She has learnt to:
- Chop safely
- Wash and dry pots
- Assist on the till
- Make hot meals
Simmy says her mum likes her coming to Pulp Friction as she gets to learn new things. She says she is planning to continue her time at Pulp Friction and would like to get a paid job with us when she is ready to get a job. She has also taken part in the Atmosphere Glee choir and Dance Syndrome performance class.
Case Study of GT
Preparing for the World of Work
When GT joined PF, he thought members only had a place for 6 weeks and then moved on to work. While Pulp Friction offers support for members for as long as they required it GT moved on to work after just 6 weeks with Pulp Friction. Maureen worked with GT to help him choose a suitable work environment. She took him to look around a small complex of shops including a fish and chip shop, a very crowded charity shop and a quieter charity shop. Together they decided the quieter charity shop was a suitable work environment for GT. When GT found out more about the charity, he was very impressed with it and wanted to work for them.
He began working half a day once a week, with Maureen supporting the staff, ensuring they understood GT liked to receive clear instructions but then would not like to be disturbed while working on a task, as he was very focused on the task at hand. Maureen supported GT for two weeks, on his third week GT worked alone. By the fourth week, GT had asked if he could work another day and was working full days. He now works 2-day shifts a week, he is committed and works hard and feels proud of himself for having a job. His mum observed a change in him at home as he is now more outgoing, attesting the knock-on positive effects of employment.
Maureen believes the smooth transition into work was due to the initial training and taste of the structure of work provided by Pulp Friction.
Case Study of BH
Preparing for Independent Living
BH has been a member of Pulp Friction since 2010. They live independently, however, their experience of moving out did not mirror that of adults without learning difficulties and/or autism.
The house they live in was set up by social services, and while it has the support BH requires to live independently, BH has not been able to move into a house with their friends, an experience many people their age take for granted.
BH was given a chance to meet potential housemates who required similar levels of support and interview them to decide if they would or would not be a good match. While this allowed BH to have a choice in who they were living with, they did not have close friendships with any of their housemates prior to moving in.
Unfortunately, within the first few months of living in the house, it became clear one of their housemates was facing some difficulties which required more support than that available within the house. This had adverse effects on both BH and carers working within the house. For a while, afterwards, BH did not have any housemates living with them, which became quite lonely and isolating. BH also required support to help them move forward after this event when it was time for new people to move in, they became very nervous and worried the same events could potentially unfold again.
BH has always expressed they would like to be able to move into a house with their friends, and now this idea is finally within reaching distance. BH is planning to move into a new supported living house with 3 of their friends. BH is very excited about this but is also a bit nervous, their main concern being the possibility of history repeating itself.
It is clear that past experiences have had a great impact on BH if they were not quite so resilient, they may have given up on living independently and returned to living with their parents. If BH had been able to move in with their friends who they had grown up with, for example, school friends or other members of Pulp Friction, instead of people they did not know prior to moving in together it is possible these events may have been avoided, due to knowing each other’s background and also each other’s families. Moving in with friends who have attended the same school or work together on a daily basis may also make the transition from living at home with parents to living independently less daunting, than moving into a house with people you do not know.