Two Rivers helps raise £35,000 for Oakey Doakey homeless youth enterprise
Published by Anonymous for Two Rivers Housing in Housing and also in Communities
The Oakey Doakey Team
A group of young Foresters, who have faced challenging times, have hit the big time as they worked to rebuild their lives with food.
On Friday top chefs at Jamie’s Italian in Cheltenham cooked the youngsters a slap up feast to celebrate, and gave them top tips on how to compete in a hungry market..
The young hopefuls have just won £35,000 funding to set up their own food enterprise called “Oakey Doakey” creating jams, sauces, cakes, and biscuits and other delicious produce all sourced from the Forest of Dean and environs.
The Euro cash and Lottery funding bids were netted thanks to expert fundraising by their friends at not for profit community housing organisation Two Rivers.
£25,000 came from funding from Forest of Dean Local Action, part of the EU’s Rural Development Programme for England. The other £10,000 came from the Big Lottery Fund.
Jamie Oliver is renowned for his caring cooking, setting up a restaurant business to provide a taste of the working world for troubled young people.
Jamie’s team tasted some of the Oakey Doakey produce and gave it the thumbs up. Oakey Doakey go to the Forest Food Festival, at Speech House on Sunday October 7th, for their first public appearance.
Jamie’s Italian General Manager Francesco Gitto said he was really excited by what the young Foresters were cooking up.
“These young people have had a tough start in life and they need a chance to build their skills and their self-confidence. That’s exactly what Jamie and the Jamie Oliver Group has put so much effort into. Good food is about people and about community as much as quality ingredients and culinary magic,” he said.
Teenager Nathan Fowler has had a difficult life so far and is really looking forward to getting his teeth into a brighter future.
“I am so excited about this, actually getting to do something with my life. Because of my troubled past, it’s been really difficult to get the training I need to get a job. This is a new start and I really want this to work.” Nathan said.
Two Rivers Community Initiatives Officer, Jane Cordier said the Oakey Doakey crew were on fire with enthusiasm when they left the restaurant; no one had ever treated them with so much respect.
“Just like Jamie we are determined to help these young people get a taste for the world of work. It is really tough for young people these days, especially if they have no family support. These kids deserve a chance. It’s great we have been able to lend them a helping hand, along with our colleagues from Rooftops Housing.
“Good quality affordable housing is the starting point for a better life. That’s what not-for-profit community homes organisations like ours are all about. The Two Rivers community is a caring community,” she said.
The Oakey Doakey project is being set up by the G3 project, which works with young homeless people in Gloucestershire to get their lives back on track. G3 is run by Rooftops Housing and helps troubled young people find a home, training and new opportunities.