How the CFO Activity Hub used participant's culinary talents to build social connections and create opportunities

  • Friday, April 28, 2023

The Yorkshire CFO Activity Hubs give people the support they need to get back on track. Part-funded by the European Social Fund, the Hubs aim to overcome some of the barriers that make it difficult for individuals to access support in areas such as education, skills development and employability. JI was referred in November, as his probation practitioner wanted him to receive employment and training support, but also get involved in activities that would help to develop his social skills and allow him to engage in purposeful activity.

When he first attended the Hub, JI was very quiet and reserved and wasn’t interested in attending any groups. At his enrolment, he spoke about his passion for cooking and having experience of cooking for large groups whilst in prison. His support worker used this as a way of encouraging him to engage with a small group. His support worker signed JI up for the cooking class, and he was involved in choosing the recipes (sticking to an agreed budget) and worked alongside the tutor in mentoring other participants in the group, demonstrating cooking methods and offering them advice and guidance on all aspects of cooking and the ingredients. JI took great pride in helping people and has received a positive response from both Hub users and staff. His confidence and self-esteem have increased, and he has expressed an interest in becoming a peer mentor. The Hub also gave JI 1-2-1 support to help him with housing and debt advice, and he continues to receive practical support to manage his bills and letters.

JI is really appreciative of the support he has received and continues to search for suitable employment with his support worker.

Contact the CFO Activity Hubs in Yorkshire to learn about a range of tailored support, including one-to-one advice, guidance, and group work, enabling individuals to move closer to getting back into employment, training, and education. The service aims to equip offenders with the right skillset needed to help them desist from reoffending and instead contribute to their local communities. 

For more information about the GC CFO Activity Hubs visit: The Growth Company - Employment - Yorkshire CFO Activity Hubs (