Training Kitchen - official opening

30 July 2021

Azure Charitable Enterprises was delighted to welcome Anne Reece from The Reece Foundation to mark the official opening our new teaching facility today.  Anne (pictured left) was joined by Chris Litchfield (pictured right) representing the Molitor Charitable Trust which also made a significant donation to support Azure’s investment and which has seen Azure’s Garden Centre kitchen completely refurbished to create a vocational training environment for students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.  


Helen Campbell (Head of Azure’s Education Services) explained that with the financial support of The Reece Foundation and Molitor Charitable Trust, Azure had been able to ‘to create a teaching facility equivalent to anything you would expect to find in a modern, further education college and which will support the delivery of vocational education and training (including independent living skills) for our students and clients.  Whereas 5 years ago we were supporting only 4 students, we have already 30 students enrolled for the next academic year’.


In preparation for the ‘official opening’ the students had been preparing soups, baking scones and selection of cakes and pastries and were very excited to discover whether their efforts had met with the approval of their guests.  Student Paige Clarke said ‘We’ve been working hard all week to get ready for today and I’m really looking forward to starting my Internship here next year as I really want to work in hospitality’ while student Connor Shields explained ‘I’ve made scones, I hope they like them – I’m sure they will!’


Anne Reece explained ‘The Reece Foundation is delighted to work with Azure to provide these much needed training facilities. The demand for training from the youngsters demonstrates their desire to pay a full part in society and to fully  develop their own potential . It is an honour to help facilitate this . And it is a delight to sample the results like these delicious cheese scones!’


 New servery

On behalf of The Molitor Charitable Trust, Chris Litchfield said ‘we are very pleased to be able to support the very positive work undertaken by Azure and to support this excellent training programme which is enabling young people to attain new levels of achievement and build the foundations for future careers. It was a pleasure to see such positivity in the students who were already able to demonstrate their new skills by preparing and confidently serving us excellent cakes and pastries’.


Azure’s Chief Executive, Dr Peter Wilson explained that ‘We’re immensely grateful to The Reece Foundation and the Molitor Charitable Trust to support such an undertaking and on this scale. We expect the Garden Centre’s new food offer to be staffed and served by students and which will place ‘front and centre’ our work with students so that the general public have a better understanding of the nature and character of the charity, an appreciation of what our students can achieve and that Azure’s Garden Centre is so much more than just a garden centre’.

NOTE: The Cafe is expected to be open to the public in Autumn 2021.