Initially announced at the HBAA’s annual kick-off on 14 January, the Brigade is a not for profit social enterprise that runs programmes to inspire people who are at risk of, or have experienced, homelessness to gain meaningful employment.
HBAA Chair, Leigh Cowlishaw, said: “Brigade, like the HBAA, provides support and guidance to people in the hospitality industry and we feel it is a perfect match for the association and the HBAA’s 2016 ‘back to basics’ theme. We’re delighted to help create awareness of Brigade’s work and to raise money to support people who are, or have, been through a difficult time.”
Cowlishaw added “We presented Brigade’s work at the recent Q Hotels sales conference and the group was immediately inspired to take action. We are really pleased that it has already funded a set of knives and a uniform for an apprentice. We will be sharing details of the next steps and new initiatives in the coming weeks in order to drive the campaign.”
Brigade was established in 2011 as a unique triple sector partnership between PwC, De Vere Venues the Homes and Communities Agency and Beyond Food Foundation which was set up in 2004 by Simon Boyle. Since 2004, Simon has worked tirelessly to help homeless people across London to rebuild their lives. Using food as a catalyst, Simon has set about imparting his passion, skills and knowledge of cooking and food on to participants of the training programmes and the Brigade apprentices, encouraging them to move their lives forward in a positive and meaningful way.
Simon Boyle, Chef Founder, commented. “We’ve been making a huge difference to people that have either experienced or have been at risk of homelessness through our Freshlife, and United Kitchen programmes. The partnership with HBAA will help sustain and grow these amazing projects to inspire and motivate even more vulnerable people back into long-term sustainable employment, hopefully with many HBAA members. We’re also really excited to start planning all of the creative foodie fundraising activities that we can do together, which will help us break the cycle of homelessness.”
Brigade hosts the educational programmes and employs and trains the United Kitchen apprentices, but, as a social enterprise, it also reinvests any profits into other community projects.
Ian Conder, Group Sales Director, De Vere Venues, says “Brigade represents a unique collaboration and is a great business that delivers significant social value. We are delighted that HBAA has chosen Brigade as its beneficiary and we are confident that by exposing it to our agency, venue and customer community we will see huge value to the programme participants, apprentices and customers alike.”