THE founder of a charity which helps people gain employment skills has been made its life president.
Anne Gardner OBE, from Bournemouth, founded the Crumbs Project nearly 20 years ago to help adults with mental health issues, learning disabilities and stabilised drug and alcohol addiction learn vital everyday skills through catering work.
Last week she was installed as life president to honour her work.
To celebrate, staff and trainees prepared a three-course hot, silver service lunch, after which the charity’s chairman Douglas Eyre presented Anne with a painting of a seagull – a memento of the book ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ which was the inspiration behind her starting the charity.
Mr Eyre said: “Crumbs has been a great success story and has helped many, many people with special challenges in their lives.
“The charity is expanding and we’re able to provide even more people an opportunity to get help onto the road to more independent living and hopefully into employment.”
Crumbs has eight interns and 26 trainees currently on their pre-employment programme and has successfully placed many graduates into employment so far.
It is funded by training income, grants and by its social enterprise activities, as well as sales from its catering service to private and business customers.
It is based in Hibberd Way, Bournemouth, near Slades Farm, next to 49 flats for older people for whom it provides café facilities during the day.
Crumbs is seeking businesses to get involved in providing short work placements for its trainees, and also for volunteer organisers to help deliver a programme of activities and events for the residents at Hibberd Court to increase interaction, improve their social life and improve their health and well-being.