Blog, Case study | 15 August 2023

A recipe for change: KERB & Working Chance

“Everyone deserves a chance in life, and no one is perfect. We all make mistakes and should be given the opportunity to make amends.” - Lisa Donohue, Head of Coaching at KERB+

KERB runs street food market halls across London. They offer catering services across the UK and ‘a slice of opportunity’ for those who need it the most through their social enterprise, KERB+.

We had a chat with Lisa, Head of Coaching at KERB+ to find out about their mission and collaboration with Working Chance. In this interview, she highlights that hiring women with convictions is an integral part of KERB’s mission to create opportunity for those who need it.

Working up an appetite: KERB+'s approach to social enterprise

KERB+ provides support and employment opportunities for people facing barriers to work, including people who have been in contact with the justice system.

“Hiring people with convictions is built into the company structure and meets our long-term ambitions to give back to the communities we work in.”

Lisa Donohue
Head of Coaching at KERB+

Lisa notes that people with convictions sometimes need a little extra support to get into work. KERB+ collaborates with a range of community-based organisations and runs programmes to support people experiencing high levels of unemployment, including 'through the gate' services, supporting people leaving prison to access help in key areas like employment.

“We offer coaching opportunities for anyone that aspires to start their own food business through online courses and in person workshops. We offer a work experience and mentorship programme for those seeking support into a role in hospitality.”

Women with convictions make some of the most dedicated staff, but often struggle finding an employer willing to give them a chance to develop a career. The offer of support at KERB ensures that women have the best chance at succeeding after they accept the job.

A slice of opportunity: why hire women with convictions?

“I very much believe in the concept that human nature is inherently good, and that everyone has the potential to find their own answers to their problems.”

Lisa Donohue
Head of Coaching at KERB+

Women with convictions face complex barriers to employment (more so than men). Half of women who have been involved in the criminal justice system are claiming benefits two years later, compared to just over a third of men.

“From my experience of hiring women with convictions, I have found the women to be determined, loyal and ambitious.”

Women with convictions have real skills to offer and through Working Chance's partnership with KERB, they have the option to build a career in hospitality.

Cooking up careers: Hiring through Working Chance

“The women we’ve hired through Working Chance are reliable and hardworking, have good communication skills and have been an asset to the teams they are working in.”

KERB’s mission to ‘create opportunity and joy through great food, from the kerb up’, aligns beautifully with our mission at Working Chance, to support women with convictions into employment so that they can support their families and restart their lives.

“We wanted to work with those that need our support most, including people with convictions who struggle to find employment.”

Lisa Donohue
Head of Coaching at KERB+

Now, over a year on from the start of our partnership with KERB, Lisa reflects on her experience hiring women with convictions through Working Chance.

“Partnering with Working Chance has been brilliant, very supportive, good communication between the two organisations, and we have an excellent relationship with Working Chance.”

Ingredients for success: Transformation through collaboration

At Working Chance, we believe no woman should be held back by her past. The journey isn't always a simple one, yet the women who reach out to us show incredible determination and resilience. With the right opportunities and support, these women can create bright futures for themselves and their families.