From Street Food to award winning Bistros and a channel 4 programme! Take a look at some of our past projects…
In 2011 we teamed up with National Star at Ullenwood near Cheltenham, working in partnership to create a social enterprise model, providing a real-life working environment for young people with disabilities and learning difficulties to gain the skills required for employment, whilst serving local, ethical, and sustainable food. The StarBistro was born, and went on to achieve numerous local and national accolades and awards in its first years, with the Wiggly Worm team training hundreds of students and scholars behind the scenes. In 2016 we handed the StarBistro project back over to National Star, after we successfully launched and developed the social enterprise model.
Whilst at the StarBistro, we developed a ‘scholarship’ model, working closely with a local partner who sponsored individuals who for whatever reason would usually struggle to get a job (possibly due to previous offences, struggles with addiction, disability, or a mental health condition). They had up to one year to work with us at the StarBistro or across our other projects, being in a paid role (often for the first time), to gain a better knowledge and understanding of the expectations in a work environment, whilst working towards individual targets, ranging from developing friendships with colleagues to building a unique ‘toolkit’ to help with personal issues such as short term memory loss. Many of our scholars used this opportunity to gain some vital experience to add to their CV, and have gone on to launch careers across a range of industries.
Little Green Wiggly Machine.
Our Little Green Wiggly Machine was a fabulous 1967 Citroen H van, lovingly restored and converted, and served diverse and exciting street food in Cirencester, as well as feeding delicious food at private parties, weddings, and events.
It was based in the Abbey Grounds, and Cirencester's Market Square on Mondays and Fridays, serving up dishes like Spanish chicken and chorizo stew with green peas and saffron rice, Moroccan spiced lamb and apricot stew with herb couscous or a spicy Malaysian beef rending. The Little Green Wiggly Machine served street food by day and food poverty pop up by night. All funds produced through trading in the day, alongside some corporate sponsorship, helped to support pop-ups, serving hot, nutritious food to those who need it most in our communities. We also provided work experience to vulnerable people, providing a gateway into paid employment. Through our global menus, we utilised the best of local and ethical food, all the while embracing our values on good health.
Our No Person Hungry programme still operates in Gloucestershire, delivering hot, nutritious, street food style food to those needing it most in our communities, but the lovely LGWM now lives at Dean Close school under the name The Bean Machine, serving hot drinks and snacks at the school’s sports games and is run by their students.
In 2015, the television production company TwoFour approached Wiggly Worm to help with some behind the scenes training for individuals with disabilities who wanted careers in the catering industry. After seeing some of our ‘Kitchen Challenge’ project in action, they loved the concept, and developed the series based on the principles of ‘Kitchen Challenge’. We worked alongside Michel Roux Jr filming with 8 young people who had a wide of disabilities to support them in building skills ready for employment. The 4 episode series sees the participants go on a real journey and the episodes are still available on YouTube - link to: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/kitchen-impossible-with-michel-roux-jr
‘Before Wiggly Worm started to help me, I was very shy and had low confidence. WW supported me in so many ways, helped me find a voice and helped me grow to be able to bring confidence to do a job. WW helped me find the ability to get a job but also believe in myself. I’m very grateful to them for their support.’ Beth
‘It was an amazing experience getting a job. I am now working at ‘Yo Sushi’ – I feel amazing. It was an amazing time on Kitchen Impossible.’ Annalie.