by The Larder Cook School in Brucefield Industrial Estate, Scotland, United Kingdom

We did it
On 3rd September 2019 we successfully raised £4,826 with 95 supporters in 28 days

We need help to raise £20,000 for an additional training kitchen so that we can work with more young people and help them change their lives

by The Larder Cook School in Brucefield Industrial Estate, Scotland, United Kingdom



Who we are and what we do

The Larder supports the most disadvantaged young people, from the age of 5 (and some adults too), living in West Lothian to reach their full potential and change their lives. We believe in the transformational nature of food, to empower the most disadvantaged to be all that they can be.  

In our bespoke hospitality skills training centre in Livingston (and in some schools), we support our trainees to build their confidence, develop skills, gain qualifications and move closer to, or into work where relevant.  Our programmes are needs led and nurturing, with small class sizes, recognising that everyone learns in a different way.

The first thing we do is understand the learning needs of every individual, and then develop a learning plan that meets their needs.  Sometimes we work on a 1:1 basis and others in small groups.  We understand that our young people may have experienced trauma in their life, so work closely with a range of partners to provide access to additional services that will help them be all that they can be.

Since April 2015 we have trained over 400 people to gain confidence, qualifications and skills for the hospitality sector.   

Supporting over 230 disadvantaged young people in the last year alone; helping build their confidence, develop life and work skills, gain qualifications (very often for the first time) whilst moving closer to, or into work if they are at that stage of their life.  We are now at maximum capacity with a waiting list.

Here are some of our trainees working hard to serve over 100 people at our AGM in 2018

Why do we need your support?

There is an increasing demand for us to work with young people with disabilities. We also want to be able to work with more disadvantaged adults who are furthest from the job market; adults with disabilities, those experiencing homelessness, ex-offenders and those experiencing mental health conditions or addictions.  To do this we need another kitchen.

Our aim is to convert unused space in our warehouse into another training kitchen. We need your help to raise £20,000 to make this happen. The aim is to develop a modern commercial kitchen that will enable us to increase our training capacity, create great tasting food for our cafes, and make sure that everyone that needs food, can access it every day of the week, in a dignified way. With your support we can help even more people gain skills and experience in catering and hospitality.

In the new kitchen we establish a small micro bakery and a new outside catering social enterprise and piloting the use of recovered food to create high quality outside catering services with 100% of all profit will go towards supporting the most disadvantaged into work.

The total cost will be in the region of £75,000, we have already raised some of this from other sources.

Community cafes - reducing hunger

In addition to our Hospitality Training Programmes, we run 3 community cafes across West Lothian. Providing community based employability training for young people who are finding it difficult to maintain mainstream education.  In the cafes the young people gain real life work experience, whilst serving their own community with good quality, affordable food.  The cafes also link with a range of local organisations, to provide food for those experiencing food insecurity, in a dignified way on a daily basis.

Some of our achievements so far …

  • Supported 73% of our graduates into work (73% of those that are of work age) with your help we can increase this to 83% by 2021.
  • 93% of our young people gain qualifications (some for the first time)
  • 100% of our young people tell us they are more confident and better cooks
  • Currently 47% of our staff are graduates of our hospitality programmes and from disadvantaged backgrounds. Work with us to increase this to over 50% by 2021.
  • Provided 1300 hot meals to over 500 people in 60 dining experiences, reducing hunger and isolation.

What our partners say ...

"Just to say that our boys are just loving their experience at Howden Park with the Larder so thanks so much for everything.  We can see a difference in their confidence already and they are so excited when they are talking about it!  James is in my class and never says much but came in early on Thursday and was giving me all the chat about what they had been doing, Thank you for all that you are doing for them" Georgina Scott, Teacher, West Lothian Council

"My daughter attended The Larder for 2 years whilst still at school and it was the best thing to happen to her, it really did change her life.  When she joined The Larder she was quiet and shy, she lacked confidence and did not have the motivation for school, it was too big and noisy for her.  The Larder changed her so much, not only was she much more confident but it helped her decide that she wanted to be a chef.  After The Larder she attended college for two years, travelled and cooked abroad and is now starting her working life as a fully qualified and experienced chef." A grateful parent

‘The Larder is one of West Lothians leading social enterprises. They have been transforming young people’s lives and building the skills of young people experiencing barriers into work through their fantastic supported training programmes, training kitchens a food outlets. The quality of their work, and the food that they produce, is of an exceptionally high standard. Business Gateway has worked closely with The Larder for a number of years to support them  in working towards becoming a strong and sustainable social enterprise that will continue to deliver high levels of social impact, and continue to transform young people’s lives in future years.’  Martin Thomson, Business Gateway Growth Adviser, West Lothian Council

"The Larder is a unique but essential stepping stone from high school to further education / employment, some people simply cannot go without it. It provides an environment that focuses on learning and the best interests of the students. while deeply encouraging self improvement. The Larder makes a real difference on both the micro and macro, ultimately making a massive impact in lives that results in a permanent positive change. No matter what your situation, The Larder staff always go the extra mile, from my experience this selflessness and humility often contrasts with the attitudes present in other educational pathways" Sean Meechan, Social Media & Admin assistant at The Larder (Previously a student at The Larder)


The work that we do, in the way that we do it, is labour intensive, so we rely of volunteers to help us in the kitchen and classroom. They support young people with disabilities to stay safe at the cookers, whilst they enjoy the same experiences as everyone else in the class.  Volunteers help some of our young people who have additional support needs to complete their paperwork, so that they too can gain qualifications. They help build the confidence of every young person to be all that they can be.

Here are some of our volunteers at last year's AGM being thanked for their tremendous support to our young people and organisation.

Case study

Your Support will help us grow.

This project will allow us to create further innovative projects that use food to change lives, we will:

  • Build new kitchen and install new commercial equipment
  • Increase the number of people that we train from 200 to 400 per year by 2022
  • Produce a minimum of 500 additional meals for those in need of food
  • Create and develop a new social enterprise where 100% of all profits will be reinvested into supporting the most disadvantaged into work.
  • Reduce food waste and our carbon footprint.
  • Increase volunteering opportunities



Thank you from all the students and team at The Larder

Don't forget to claim your reward for making your donation. 


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

Coffee and Cake

Coffee and Cake for 1 - Enjoy a Delicious Coffee With The Added Bonus of One of Our Tasty Homemade Cakes - Made By Our Students

£5 or more


Coffee for 1 - Enjoy a Delicious Coffee At Any of Our Cafe Locations

£15 or more

Coffee & Cake for 2

Coffee & Cake for 2 - All The Greatness of The Previous Tier With The added Benefit of Bringing a Friend!

£30 or more

Coffee & Bacon Roll for 2

Coffee & Bacon Roll For 2 - Enjoy a Fresh Coffee & Delicious Bacon Roll With a Friend at Any of Our Sites

£50 or more

6 of 12 claimed

Afternoon Tea for 4

Afternoon Tea for 4 at Our Brewster Square Cafe Location - This is Where the New Kitchen Will Be Located!

£100 or more

1 of 24 claimed

Pop Up Café Lunch

3 Course Pop Up Café Lunch for 2 - Enjoy a space in our very popular dining event that has received countless positive reviews!

£150 or more

0 of 12 claimed

Pop Up Café Lunch (Deluxe)

3 Course Pop Up Café Lunch for 4 - Just Like The Previous Tier Only With More Friends!

£300 or more

1 of 12 claimed

Foodie Friday for 4 People

3 Course Foodie Friday for 4 - Our Foodie Friday Events Include Quizes & High Quality Entertainment With Delicious Food!

£500 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Private Dining Experience

3 Course Private Dining Experience for 8 - a Unique Experience That'll Be a Great Opportunity to Spend Quality Time With Friends and Family

£1,000 or more

1 of 5 claimed

Private Dining With Wine (Deluxe)

3 Course Private Dining Experience for 15 - Just Like the Previous Tier but With Wine and More Friends!

£2,000 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Chef & Dine Experience

Chef & Dine Experience - Dine on Your Own for Up to 20 People

Got an idea like this?

Over £200 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.