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Pilot ground maintenance project offers skills development support

19 October 2022


A pioneering project aimed at supporting people to develop their skills and get involved in volunteer opportunities has begun.

Great Yarmouth community organisation The Bread Kitchen will work in partnership with James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on a pilot ground maintenance project on the hospital site, involving local people looking to gain experience of working in this sector.

The pilot, supported by a £10,000 allocation from Norfolk’s Inclusive Economy Project led by East Coast College and funded by the UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund, runs until December 2022, and will inform future plans for further projects between the hospital and the voluntary and community sector.

The James Paget, which is developing plans for a new hospital by 2030 as part of the national New Hospital Programme, is part of a drive within the local health and care sector to address the health inequalities that communities face in Great Yarmouth and Waveney, in collaboration with volunteer and community organisations.

Jonathan Barber, Director of Strategy and Transformation at the James Paget, said: “Working with The Bread Kitchen is a fantastic opportunity for our hospital to learn how we can be even more inclusive as an employer, and provide support to local people that may face additional barriers in finding work.

“The James Paget recognises the role we have as a local institution, and we are keen to explore how working with the voluntary and community sector can support local people to access employment and volunteer opportunities at our hospital.”

The Bread Kitchen was established as a ‘community of learning’ which provides courses and activities to develop the skills of local people, outside traditional educational environments. The pilot will involve local people working on a small scale ground maintenance project, outside the Burrage Centre on the James Paget site, to learn skills and develop relationships with teams at the hospital and in the community.

Mike Smith-Clare and Cathy Cordiner-Achenbach, Co-Founders and Directors, The Bread Kitchen, said: “We are delighted to be a part of this exciting project that enables partners, volunteers and the wider community to develop new skills and ways of working together. This represents a sustainable and embedded framework of partnership working for the benefits of local people.”

Stuart Jennings, Projects and Communities Manager at East Coast College, says: “This marks a very special milestone for the Inclusive Economy project. At a time when people need employment support the most, I am delighted that Bread Kitchen’s innovative project will provide a new community-based approach to supporting people, which is why we are looking forward to working with them and the James Paget Hospital on this progressive project.”

The Inclusive Economy project has received £597,760 from the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.

More details about the East Coast College projects can be found at

A group of five people, detailed on the caption, stand on a grass area with a fence behind them and blue sky above.

Our photo shows, left to right, Mike Smith-Clare and Cathy Cordiner-Achenbach, Co-Founders and Directors, The Bread Kitchen; Alan Gregory, Transformation Senior Project Manager, James Paget; Richard Catchpole, Community Development Worker, East Coast College; Chris Green, Estates Officer, James Paget.