Catering for Care

Cornwall's chefs and hospitality professional are offering their skills to the care sector to support staff shortages caused by COVID-19.

Truro and Penwith College has sought the help of Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group to design and deliver online training sessions that facilitate the transfer of hospitality skills into care.

The training has proved popular with hospitality workers who have been furloughed or find themselves underemployed due to the government's social distancing measures and want to put their skills to use on the frontline.

The training sessions took place on Friday 3 April and Thursday 9 April.

Screenshot of one of the College's remote delivery sessions

A remote delivery session

The online training has been funded and co-delivered by Truro and Penwith College's ESF REACH Cornwall project. REACH Cornwall works closely with many residential care and nursing homes across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly that are being asked to come up with urgent contingency plans for staff shortages in the forthcoming weeks.

REACH Cornwall's Project Coordinator, Jenny Gramnes explains: "Many of these workplaces are looking for extra help and would be delighted to hear from experience individuals who would be willing to offer their services either on a paid or voluntary basis. We are very excited to be able to provide this specialist training and hope that through it we can assist in matching some of those currently without work in the hospitality sector with those so desperately in need of additional help in the social care sector."

The training offered an introduction to the theory behind why it is important to consider factors such as texture, calorie content, nutrition, and the mechanics of eating when planning meals for those who might be elderly, disabled or have conditions that make eating more challenging. The expert trainers also shared their developing expertise in caring for those who are recovering from Coronavirus.

This course was absolutely wonderful and very well facilitated. Especially in these uncertain times when everyone is feeling a bit low.

Sarah Kemp, previously front of house restaurant worker.

Sarah felt the course was exactly what is needed: "I found this course very uplifting and all the presenters were so enthusiastic. I'm currently helping out people locally, but I will use what I gained from the session to get in touch with organisations such as Cornwall Care and Proud to Care to explore both paid and unpaid opportunities to help out even more."

The REACH Cornwall team is now trying to put attendees in contact with health, social care and voluntary organisations who are looking for additional staff and volunteers. 

For more information contact the REACH Cornwall team on