Bells Piece Care Home, Farnham

With extensive grounds, Bells Piece is a wonderful home, growing its own fruit and vegetables. To make the most of this, staff wanted to develop a kitchen where they could produce jam and other foods commercially, with residents joining in. They also wanted to use it to teach young people with learning disabilities how to cook and enjoy healthy eating – they would offer qualifications and, for a few, employment...

This was a new concept for Leonard Cheshire Disability, and involved converting a substantial timber outbuilding. Howdens created a kitchen that works on three levels: a commercial catering area with a professional six-burner gas range cooker and stainless steel surfaces; two training kitchens with back-to-back workstations for residents and other students who are able to walk; and a kitchen with accessible units and appliances adapted for people with limited mobility, where they can learn food-related skills.

Since the kitchen opened in summer 2012, it has been in continuous use, providing accredited courses to hundreds of individuals through the healthy eating and life skills project. Leonard Cheshire Disability is now extending this concept: 48 of the charity’s carers from around the country have attended courses at Bells Piece since 2012, with a view to offering the same learning opportunities in other residential homes.