The Caterer
Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

Conference business employing blind and partially sighted chefs expands service offer

17 September 2010 by

A pioneering conference business that employees partially sighted and blind chefs has expanded its scope with new services and ambitions to provide outside catering.

Concept, a social enterprise scheme run by charity Action for Blind People, was created in 2006 and is housed in Galbraith House, Birmingham.

The business, which hosted 7,000 delegates last year, was established to challenge preconceptions and provide opportunities for blind and partially sighted people, who often find it difficult to gain employment within the hospitality industry.

Following a trial period, Concept Flex has this week officially launched at the site, offering flexible meeting and training space - bookable on an hourly basis - to the public. This has led to the creation of three new roles within the centre's team.

Alexander Lewis, team leader for Concept, said: "We're proud to be expanding with Concept Flex, which has only been possible thanks to the blind and partially sighted chefs, and all the other dedicated staff, who have made Concept such an incredible success."

"Hopefully this is only the beginning of our expansion. We are currently looking to develop our outside catering offer at other venues and will also be diversifying into delivering industry recognised training courses."

Although Concept's team has provided some outside catering already at events in the Birmingham area, Lewis said he would be working to boost the profile of the service in the coming months.

Of the 18 visually impaired trainees who have passed through Concept to date, 14 have gone into paid employment and four have chosen volunteering or further education.

Hotel industry could still miss out on Paralympic Games business >>

Vision Hotels launches as a not-for-profit service for the blind >>

New figures highlight economic importance of disabled customers >>

By Chris Druce

E-mail your comments to Caterer News here.

If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to jobs

Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with jobs

[Newsletters For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail newsletters.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking