The Beef Kitchen, based next to the club’s Stamford Bridge ground, is run by homeless ex-servicemen and sells food to passing fans on match days.
Set up in 2005, the business has so far fed more than 20,000 football fans and provided work experience for 25 ex-servicemen. Of those, four have since gone on to gain permanent employment.
All of the food served is sourced locally, due to early morning matchday trips to Covent Garden market.
Following a grant of ï¿½£111,000 from the Department of Communities and Local Government’s Places of Change programme, the Beef Kitchen will also be running a mobile unit at Fulham FC and opening a permanent cafe in a Putney Park.
The cafe, scheduled to open in July and to be known as Pryor’s Bank Café, will be managed and staffed as a commercial venture with up to two ex-service apprentices being trained at any one time, securing the transferable skills and knowledge to overcome barriers to employment that many ex-service personnel face.
Bob Barrett, co-founder of the Beef Kitchen said: “The Beef Kitchen has provided us with hope; hope that life can improve and hope that a positive future for veterans can be achieved.
“Our aim now is that we can match the support from Places of Change and our other partners with a positive outcome that will see Pryor’s Bank become a great café that gives the an opportunity to other veterans who have fallen on hard times.”
Join the Conversation