For the last five years it has helped many young people in Banbury have the confidence to get full-time work, but sadly the journey for BYHP’s On A Roll shop in Church Lane has come to an end.
The charity based in Chandos Close is still flourishing and continuing the good work it does to help young, vulnerable and homeless people in the town, but the closure of their sandwich shop marks the end of one of Banbury’s well-supported projects.
On A Roll was set up by the charity in 2010 as part of the Big Lottery funded project called Unlocking Potential, which aims to assist young people to identify goals and develop life and work related skills. It will for the last time onSeptember 18.
Deb Park, acting CEO, of BYHP, said: ““I am extremely sad to announce that BYHP’s On a Roll will close. The last few months have been very successful for the café, but unfortunately our application for a further funding from the Big Lottery was unsuccessful and therefore we cannot continue to run the café.
“We are extremely grateful for the way the local community has supported us over the past five years. On a Roll has been a fantastic resource and a keystone of our Unlocking Potential project. We will of course continue our vital work with local young people and continue to find innovative ways of helping them to find the confidence and gain the skills they need to make the right choices and to overcome their difficulties.”
The shop employs two full-time and one part-time staff and is part of the charity’s Unlocking Potential programme, which helps make young people more marketable to potential employers.
The sandwich shop has been widely used and supported by businesses in the town, including the Banbury Guardian. Employees at the shop provide food including freshly-prepared sandwiches, paninis and baguettes alongside hot and cold drinks.
Since its inception back in 2010, the shop has grown in popularity as it celebrated its first year and increased its presence in Banbury and the surrounding villages with the purchase of a new delivery van.
The service delivers within a 20-mile radius of the town centre but can store up to 30 buffet platters and with such a wide variety on offer customers are spoilt for choice.
But until September they are still very much trading and operate six days a aweek from Monday to Saturday, from 11am to 2.30pm.
For more information about On A Roll offer for businesses and on their menu, visit www.byhp.org.uk/byhps-on-a-roll.html
Other services provided by BYHP
Banbury’s Young Homelessness Project, better known as BYHP, works as a charity exists to support and assist vulnerable young people aged 13 – 25 in finding and maintaining a safe home from which they may be assisted to determine their own opportunities in life. And as well as its involvement in providing the On A Roll programme, it also offer a host of other programmes to support those young people in Banbury that are in need.
They include its job club, which is dedicated to getting people into work. The charity’s staff and facilities are there to provide free support throughout the entire job seeking process.
Young people can enjoy free access to computers and internet for job searching, support with CV and cover letter writing, help finding and applying for jobs online and support accessing training opportunities. There is also assistance with interview preparation and guidance for preparing for work.
BYHP also offer the provision of free, confidential advice, information and support services to young people in housing need, lobby to increase the availability of emergency and move-on accommodation in partnership with housing providers, voluntary and statutory organisations and develop a range of services to support young people in securing and maintaining housing, involving young people in the planning, development and delivery of services.
It also offers family mediation and family work as a chance for families to get togther and try to resolve any difficulties they have. Aside from its charity work in the community it has consistently been recognised as excellent in its field.
In 2012 BYHP won the Queens’ Award for Voluntary Services, and the Cherwell Business Awards for its community work in the local area. In November 2013 the charity was awarded the Children and Young People Now prize for Advice and Guidance. For more information call 01295 259442.
Tributes for a job well done
Despite only being open five years, BYHP’s On A Roll has already developed a big following in the town with many praising the service for its support for young people and its delicious freshly-made food.
It has received support from many dignitaries in the town, including former Banbury MP Sir Tony Baldry and his replacement Victoria Prentis.
Despite its closure the shop has had a profound effect on those working with the young people and seeing their confidence grow.
Sherri Manley is BYHP’s catering trainer and shop manager, and said: “Working at BYHP’s On a Roll has been the most rewarding job I have ever done. Seeing the smile on the face of a young person when they make a cake or soup or cook southern fried chicken from scratch makes my work feel incredibly worthwhile.
“Since we started the project five years ago, more than 300 young people have come through our door for training, and have left with improved confidence and having learnt valuable new skills.
“My assistant manager, Rob Wyeth was one of the first candidates on the Unlocking Potential course. He completed his training here, and showed such promise that he was offered an apprenticeship with us, and has gone on to become my assistant manager.
“Stories like Rob’s are a fantastic example of what enterprises like this can achieve. I am extremely proud of our success.”
North Oxfordshire MP Victory Prentis, added: “I am a great supporter of BYHP and know they do incredible work across Banbury. I have been lucky enough to enjoy some BYHP catering too, most recently at the opening of Style Acre Banbury in Butcher’s Row. The food was fantastic.
It is a real shame that On A Roll is going to have to close. I was pleased that BYHP can carry on with its work supporting young people locally, and I hope to play a part in that in the coming years. I wish them every success.”
The 12-week training programme at On A Roll involves classroom sessions on customer service skills, health and safety and food hygiene, and a six-week period of hands-on-front-of-house experience in the On A Roll kitchen.
While the On A Roll venture has had to come to an end, its journey to help transform the lives of these young people will stay with them forever.