At Workbridge, we offer vocational opportunities to people with mental illnesses, learning disabilities or brain injuries, giving them the chance to learn and develop work and life skills.
One of those workshops is catering, where service users help produce meals for staff and colleagues every day, as well as creating products for our coffee shop. They also learn about health and safety, and about food hygiene.
As an extension of that, we have now launched a Food Safety course, giving our people the opportunity to obtain a recognised qualification. The course is run by one of our fantastic Senior Vocational Skills Instructors, Tracy Farmery. Here, she explains more…
“After seven years working in catering at Workbridge as a Senior Vocational Skills Instructor, I identified a need to train service users in food hygiene to help them gain new skills and a transferable industry recognised qualification.
“To make this happen I obtained funding from Friends of Workbridge to cover my Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTTLS) training course and, after 10 months of studying in both my work and personal time, I passed!
“Our new Introduction to Food Safety course gives service users a Level 1 certificate which is registered with the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. The six-week course includes an introduction to food safety, food safety hazards and good food safety practice.
“The course is available to service users that attend catering or coffee shop sessions, and is bespoke to their individual learning capabilities.
“Upon completion of the training, each service user takes the exam which provides them with a certificate after reaching a pass rate of seven out of 10.
“I’m currently delivering this course to six service users who all appear to be enjoying the new skills they are learning. It’s amazing to see their progress week on week when we recap what’s previously been covered. I ask questions and try and make it fun because I think it’s important to bring fun into learning.
“I just love doing what I do and if I could teach every day I would! I can’t wait to see service users passing the exam and receiving their certificates.
“We’re even doing a little certificate ceremony after a request from one of them asking for a party to celebrate their big achievement. This just shows how important this is to them and I love that!”
We're very proud to say that every member of the first group of students on the Food Safety Course passed successfully!
"I am so proud of each and every one of the service users," Tracy added. "We spent all morning recapping, asking questions and watching a video.
"Straight after lunch we set the room out and allowed an hour for completion, and all service users completed the questions in the allotted time and passed with flying colours.
"I am so happy as this is my first course and everyone completed it, 100 per cent. The service users gave me a card to say thank you, which really means a lot."
A huge congratulations to Tracy and her first group of students on the Food Safety Course!