I love Damson Restaurant, it's official and not because I like eating (that's a fact anyway) but because today I found out what they are doing for the community.
I met Noel Goulding and Steve Pilling from Damson who explained the really great work they are doing in Salford to help people into careers who might otherwise fall through the cracks of our system.
I had met them a few weeks earlier at a prison project event where they donated the food and told me what they were doing to help ex-offenders in to work.
.......but that was the tip of the iceberg and today I found out much more:
1. they run a 'looked after children' project where they train up youngsters from care backgrounds as chefs and cook for homeless people in Salford.
2. They run a project with 'walking with the wounded' where they train veterans for hospitality jobs. 50 have placements set up now across hotels in Greater Manchester.
3. They work with housing associations across Salford to find people of all ages who are out of work and give them training and confidence. Many now actually work in Damson and have flourished in their careers.
4. They run chef schools in local schools and offer mentoring and coaching to both children and parents. What is striking here is that Steve and Noel are proud of Salford and they want young parents and children growing up to take ownership of Salford Quays and to go on to fill the top jobs, it’s their right to work there!
5. Prison Project where they train ex-offenders and give them a chance to rebuild their lives.
What I should point out is that this has been going on for some time but Steve and Noel don't like shouting about it, they don't want people to think it's a publicity stunt so they just get on with things quietly.
This is the kind of business i want to see more of in Salford and it gives me a warm glow.
Personally I think they need to shout what they do from the rooftops!