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WK Foundation seeks support

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The team. Copyright: Well Kneaded

The team. Copyright: Well Kneaded

Created and run by sourdough pizza people Well Kneaded, the WK Foundation is working to raise £25,000 by 31 December 2023 to fund the charity’s new internship programme for young people in south London.

Scheduled to start in spring 2024, this will offer classroom-based training, hands-on restaurant experience, mentoring and further support. The team say: “We'd love to partner with people and businesses who share our values, mission and dream to see young people flourish and thrive.”

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About Well Kneaded

Well Kneaded was founded in 2011 as a social enterprise by friends Bridget and Bryony, sourdough pizza lovers who wanted to do something to tackle the high levels of unemployment amongst young people in their local community. 

They bought an old van, upcycled it into a mobile pizza wagon (Wendy), complete with wood-fired oven, and added Carl, their first young trainee, to the payroll. Having got their wheels and put a crew together, the team developed an internship programme of sustainable food and hospitality training for young people.

In 2013, Laurence joined Bridget at the helm and in 2018, Well Kneaded opened their first bricks and mortar pizzeria in Earlsfield to take more young people out of unemployment and help equip them for careers in good food. This was followed a few years later by another eatery in Peckham.

Then Covid and the cost-of-everything-crisis struck. The team put their heads together and decided to restructure Well Kneaded, separating it into a business to oversee the pizzerias and events operation, and a charity to run the training programme.

About the WK Foundation

Official figures for 2022 indicated that almost 15% of young people aged 16 to 24 year olds in London were not in education, employment or training. This was several percent higher than the national figure.

The WK Foundation charity was created in June 2023 to further Well Kneaded’s mission of empowering young people facing disadvantage through comprehensive hospitality training. Founded on the team’s governing principles of environmental sustainability, the internships combine theoretical knowledge with practical experience. Trainees are supported all the way by experienced mentors.

Since the launch of Well Kneaded, 62.5% of young people who completed internships were still in employment four years after their initial training. They include chef Carl, who’s still dishing up those sourdough pizzas.

Well Kneaded graduate Seth said: “When I was 18 and just out of prison I didn't think I would ever get a job. Well Kneaded came to my rescue and gave me a sense of direction, family and hope. They taught me about in-season and organic produce and how to make sourdough. Because of their love and belief in me, I now have a family and I’m able to live and successfully achieve my goals within my own (food) business.”

If you have questions or want to get in touch for more information, you can email the Well Kneaded team.

See also

Published Tuesday 10 October 2023

Real Bread Campaign: The Real Bread Campaign finds and shares ways to make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet. Whether your interest is local food, community-focussed small enterprises, honest labelling, therapeutic baking, or simply tasty toast, everyone is invited to become a Campaign supporter.

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