Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

Building confidence through cooking

Our News in Brief

Building confidence through cooking

23rd November 2017
Joanitah was homeless for six years before she came to Caritas Anchor House in February 2017.

She shared that the strain of having nowhere permanent to live, the loss of loved ones and a lack of support led to depression.

Since arriving at Caritas Anchor House, Joanitah has received support to build her confidence and resilience. She receives specialist advice and emotional support from her dedicated Lifestyle Architect, and is encouraged to participate in community and recreational activities to form positive relationships with her peers.

“I wouldn’t be where I am without Caritas Anchor House. If you want to improve your life there is all the support you need here, and they will help you until you make it.”

Joanitah was offered a regular volunteering opportunity in our kitchen, helping staff and other volunteers to prepare meals for the residents living here. The structure of volunteering gave Joanitah the confidence and motivation to look for a job, and when she saw an apprenticeship advertised by the Beyond Food Foundation, she knew it was for her.

Beyond Food Foundation aims to inspire people who are at risk of, or who have experienced, homelessness to gain meaningful employment. Their philosophy is to bring people together around food, and every six months they welcome a new cohort of apprentices.

After a challenging selection process - where she successfully completed the Fresh Life and Get Stuck in courses, and was awarded certificates in Knife Awareness and Food Safety - Joanitah was chosen as one of seven new apprentices. The two-year paid apprenticeship combines study with practical experience in Beyond Food’s social enterprise restaurant for the first year, followed by a supported work placement with one of their employer partners in the second year.

“Thanks to the Beyond Food Foundation, I am really enjoying learning new skills and hope that one day I will be a chef on a cruise ship.”

With her new found confidence, Joanitah is now feels positive about her future. She hopes to move into one of Caritas Anchor House’s move-on flats soon, before being supported to secure independent accommodation where she can put all her new cooking skills to practise. 

Share this page