We provide structured education, training, and employment programmes for people with learning disabilities and/or autism through BSK Academy, which includes our Learning for Life education programme. The training and employment take place within BSK Enterprises, which has four main areas: Beresford Street Kitchen, La Hougue Bie Tearooms, BSK Catering and BSK Print Works.
We opened Beresford Street Kitchen in August 2017 and the Catering Workshop, on the 1st floor, in October of that year. At this early stage we had a crew of 16 people with learning disabilities and/or autism and a long waiting list that kept growing.
We added BSK Print Works, also on 1st floor, in April 2018 and launched an outside catering service. We provided catering for a day service for 2 years, for the Police HQ canteen for 3 years and a meal delivery service during the pandemic. We have rapidly grown our events catering and now cater for weddings and high-profile events. In June 2020 we launched La Hougue Bie Tea Rooms to enable us to provide more much needed opportunities and a stepping stone for crew to move on to.
After a full review of our charitable activities and outcomes, we started an ambitious 5-year strategy in 2021. This included the launch of our Learning for Life education programme in September 2021.
BSK has grown significantly in its first 5 years, and now provides workplace training and employment for 55 people with learning disabilities and/or autism and 44 people are currently attending 2 year Learning for Life education courses.
Our vision is of an inclusive workforce, where people with learning disabilities and/or autism have the opportunity to maximize their potential, be recognized for their skills and be regarded positively and with respect.
Our mission is to provide quality education, training and employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities and/or autism by promoting:
Our commercial mission is to provide a high quality service to customers within a sustainable and inclusive social enterprise model.
How it all started
The BSK Charitable Trust (previously The Aspire Charitable Trust) and its wholly owned company Beresford Street Kitchen Limited were established in May 2015, both with exclusively charitable status, by a small group of people comprising Stephen Kendrick, Julian Clyde-Smith, Paul Burton, Paul Bennett, Paul Watson, Eleanor Christie and Valerie Cartwright, all of whom shared a vision of creating a real working environment, comprising a café and workshops, centrally placed in St Helier, where people with learning disabilities and autism could train and work.
A local benefactor provided the premises 17 Beresford Street by way of a 21-year rent free contract lease which was passed on the 23rd October 2015 and the majority of the cost of refurbishment, which took some two years to complete. The café first opened on 7th August 2017 and the print workshop on 9th April 2018. With that start, Beresford Street Kitchen now has to pay its own way from the income it generates and from charitable donations, but even with rent free premises, it is under-capitalized and is looking for an annual or one-off endowment to secure its future.