How M&B are supporting homeless and marginalised people back into work

How M&B are supporting homeless and marginalised people back into work

Steven Miles our consultant managing the role
Date posted: 25/08/2022

As part of our sustainability promise, we aim to increase the positive effects we have on society and the communities we work in. Supporting charities such as Social Bite is one of the ways in which we aim to do this.

Social Bite is a charity which is a major employer of homeless people as well as the largest provider of freshly made free food in the UK to those in need. We are currently working alongside Social Bite Academy to train people who have experienced homelessness in hospitality skills and support them in getting back into work.

In this blog, Jonny Blake, who heads up our partnership with Social Bite, provides further insight into the charity and how our involvement in the Jobs First programme is continuing to support people who have experienced homelessness back into work.

When did Mitchells and Butler’s partnership with Social Bite begin and how did it come about?

In March 2020 just before the first lockdown, we were invited up to Scotland to visit Josh Littlejohn MBE the founder of Social Bite. On this visit, we saw the work that Social Bite was doing and created a partnership with them to help raise money for the Festival of Kindness over the coming Christmas. Since then, we have supported them over many campaigns and about a year ago joined with them on the Jobs First programme. 

Why do M&B believe the Jobs First programme is so important?

The Jobs First programme is an initiative that has revolutionised the access people who have experienced homelessness have to job opportunities across the UK. Providing wrap-around support for both the employee and employer, the initiative helps to break down the barriers people who have been homeless face on their route to employment.

We believe in supporting our local communities and helping people who have experienced homelessness back into work. The Jobs First programme is a great way to do this. Ending homelessness requires everyone to get involved, and we have chosen to partner with Social Bite to provide employment opportunities to help break the cycle of homelessness and support people to reach their potential.

What support and training do M&B offer candidates?

We work closely with Social Bite to support all candidates. We offer the candidate a full 13-week training schedule using our STAR modules. Each employee is allocated a Support Worker from Social Bite. The Support Worker will assist them throughout the programme regarding external factors that could affect their working life. The General Manager will also attend weekly catch-up / progress meetings with the candidate and the Social Bite Support Worker. We also have regular appraisal meetings with the candidate and the support worker to discuss the employee’s progress. 

What key skills will the candidates gain from their time at M&B?

The key thing about partnering with Social Bite is for M&B to offer Jobs First employees a chance to grow current skills and learn new ones. We have found that our current candidates have learnt a lot of key skills whilst working with us as we can offer a safe learning environment that can help people to flourish. Some key skills are.

  • Interacting with guests and team members
  • Growing in self-confidence
  • Time Management
  • Kitchen Skills
  • Mental Wellbeing

How well is the Jobs First Initiative going?

Overall, 6 people have been part of the programme.

The programme so far has been really successful The Social Bite team have expressed their positive feedback, stating:

“The support that has been given to the candidates and the change it can make to people’s lives. For example, Harvester has an employee who is now almost nine months into employment and has started their apprenticeship. Also, the acceptance from the teams and having valued members of the team as a result of the programme. “

What is M&B’s goal for their partnership with Social Bite over the next 12 months?

We aim to continue the great partnership with Social Bite by supporting the current sites and opening up more opportunities for sites to join the Jobs First Programme especially in London. We will be supporting Social Bite with their upcoming Break the Cycle event and over the festive period we will be partnering with Social Bite during their Festival of Kindness campaign.

Follow our journey in helping support people who have experienced homelessness get back into work

We are still at the beginning of our journey with Social Bite and over the next 12 months we aim to help create more job opportunities than we have ever done before through the Jobs First programme.

Stay up to date with any new developments in our partnership with Social Bite by following us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. And to discover more about how the Jobs First programme is helping to end homelessness visit the Social Bite website.

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