The Larder

West Lothian

What is the aim of the project?
To provide educational and work pathway support for young people unable to identify their next step.

Where is it taking place?
Based in Livingston and working throughout West Lothian.

What has been achieved?
The Larder believes in the power of food and the transformational nature of learning, and envision a Scotland without hunger and for every person, regardless of their start in life, to reach their full potential.

The organisation offers issue‐based, youth‐work and key worker sessions addressing topics such as, cookery, employability, resilience, trauma, mental‐health, Adverse Childhood Experiences, team building and confidence. All of the services are needs‐led and each individual learner is empowered to develop their own support plans. The Larder create a space for young people to become confident in themselves, in identifying their needs and in setting goals.

The team place a high value on personal lived experience and recognise that each learner is uniquely placed to understand their own circumstances and engineer their own solutions. This provision increases the skill base, giving learners the confidence to create theirown social innovations that will positively change their life. 31% of the staff team are graduates of The Larder training programmes and continue their learning in a supported work environment.

Sessions are flexible to the individual, avoiding traditional ‘classroom’ approaches. Young people are free to get up and walk around, use fidget toys or jump on the exercise bike, whilst they engage in the sessions. The team offer varied learning materials for those with reading or writing differences, scribe and support where needed.

Throughout the training, the team employ the methodology of the Triangle Outcome Star Model, which provides a visual chart to evidence the distance travelled and the outcomes achieved for each individual. The outcomes that are established are relevant to each individual’s personal circumstances, challenges and aspirations. In addition, 1:1 sessions are used to complete individual learning and personal development plans and goal setting.

Throughout the past 12 months, the programme has supported 238 young people. 82% gained qualifications and 77% entered a positive destination. Through continuous learner feedback and evaluation, 100% experienced greater confidence.

Who is running it?
The Larder is a charity that changes lives, supports communities and campaigns for a better and more equal society.

Why did the judging panel like it?
The judging panel felt that not only did The Larder have an excellent vocational model, where young people have the opportunity to learn and develop in real‐life working environments, but that they have a fantastic progression model. During the visit the team were shown effective evidence of how a young person progresses through the different stages of employability. This went from confidence building and barrier removal all the way to work experience and vocational qualifications. There was real sense of connection with the participants on the programmes, as their holistic approach to individuals allows them to identify the best support to put in place. The cafe and teaching kitchen were extremely impressive and after speaking to the young people on site it was very obvious how much they were gaining from the opportunities.

Where can I find out more?


Contact: Garry Walker, Training Manager, The Larder

Tel: 01506 412819