Match Fund to Increase Employment Opportunities

by Zoe Rodda in Canterbury, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 17th September 2019 we successfully raised £792 with 14 supporters in 35 days

To increase employment opportunities for those who face barriers to recruitment processes

by Zoe Rodda in Canterbury, England, United Kingdom

Lily's serves an incredibly important role in someone's employment journey.  Imagine being out of the workplace for an extended period of time due to a disability, mental health issue, having spent some time homeless or due to serving a sentence in prison.  The thought of full time paid work may feel daunting and scary especially if your self-esteem is low.  

Lily's offers a halfway point in this employment journey in which many of our trainees volunteer, with hours they are comfortable with, in a friendly and nurturing environment.  They can slowly build their skills and confidence but most of all they get to make friends and be part of the Lily's community. 

To support our project we have been awarded £9,000 from Kent Community Foundation with a match fund criteria.  This means we need to match this money for it to be released.  We were awarded £4,500 from another funder towards this total and we have raised some funds ourselves.  However we need one final push to be able to release all the funds we have been awarded within the deadline that has been set and reach as many people as we can.

Although we have the commercial arms to the business, our ambitions are more than the income this generates.  We wish to employ some of our beneficiaries ourselves, we wish to purchase equipment such as a better oven so that our beneficiaries can be as independent as possible, we are expanding the cooking areas in the basement to create a quieter place for our trainees to work and concentrate.  This area will also create more opportunities for catering and wholesale business development - after all we do believe in #jobsnotcharity.

We are also developing relationships with other businesses who will offer paid roles for trainees who have gone through our process and achieve a Lily's guarantee.  We are providing training for work coaches as well as our trainees so that people are well supported during their journey with us and into paid work with one of our partners, learning skills and qualifications along the way. Sometimes we even pay the initial salary when trainees are placed while they are learning the job to break down as many barriers as we can. 

So we are launching our crowdfund to raise as mcuh of these funds as we can to really move our project forward and offer more people a sense of purpose and achievement which will aid them into paid employment. 

Beneficiaries who have already been through our project have talked about the benefits they have experienced including 'increase in confidence' 'providing work as well as friends' ' being treated like a human again' are just a few examples.  

We are a unique project as we offer support to a wide range of beneficiaries from people with learning disabilities,  serving offenders, people with autism, those that have experienced homelessness and mental health issues or people who have been out of work for a long time.  We believe that everyone who needs that 'step up' can access our project and get back into work.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£8 or more

Coffee and Cake at Lily's Bistro

We will send you a voucher for a coffee and homemade cake at Lily's Bistro. Perfect to send to a friend or neighbour! Following payment provide us with your email address so your voucher can be pinged straight to your inbox!

£10 or more

Cookery Box

Enjoy a box of ingredients sourced from Fareshare Kent and our other partners along with a recipe card to prepare some delicious meals for you and your friends/family

£30 or more

0 of 8 claimed

Breadmaking Course with Andy the Master Baker

Enjoy a fantastic breadmaking session with our personal master baker Andy! This is a fun, hands on session with bread goodies to take home. - 12th October 3pm

£30 or more

Cactus Cupcake Decorating Masterclass with Lucie

Our wonderful friend and awesome cake baker Lucie will aid you in making your own selection of cactus cupcakes. Wow your friends with your newly found piping skills and meet like minded people. 17th Sept 7pm

£30 or more

0 of 8 claimed

Beginners Vegan Cookery with Founder Zoe

This class is perfect for anyone wishing to reduce their meat and dairy consumption or is curious about what vegans each. This will introduce you to some healthy alternatives to meat with an emphasis on quick, healthy, family cooking. Jan 18th - 3pm

£30 or more

Introduction to Vegan Baking with Founder Zoe

Come along and learn how to bake delicious vegan cakes and bakes with no compromise on taste or texture! For vegans or the vegan curious. Feb 8th 2020 at 3pm

£30 or more

Box of Vegan Treats

Have delivered to your home a selection of vegan cakes and bakes made by our trainees.

£35 or more

4 of 8 claimed

Pizza and Prosecco Night

Have a fun evening with your friends or meet new people! Make your own pizzas from scratch whilst quaffing prosecco and chatting. Whilst the pizzas are baking we will make a simple pudding - a great night with lots of giggles guaranteed - 30th November 7pm

£40 or more

Afternoon Tea for Two delivery

We will bake and wrap a homemade afternoon tea and deliver to the individual of our choice. Afternoon Tea will include 2 scones, clotted cream, homemade jam, a selection of fresh cakes and savoury pastries and of course some Tea. All lovingly baked by our trainees. This can be made gluten free or vegan - just state at the time of organising delivery

£120 or more

Monthly Cookery Box - Year Subscription

Enjoy a cookery box delivered to your door every month for a year. Boxes will include ingredients and a recipe card to make some delicious meals for your friends and family. This item can be gifted

Got an idea like this?

Our crowd has raised over £70 million for bright ideas and good causes.