Nottingham Fire & Rescue Headquarters Day Service Canteen.

This service is run by our Super Team, Jill, Teresa and Kat! The Fire & Rescue Canteen Headquarters is a busy place which offers lots of creative opportunities and a great atmosphere. Getting to know the people that work here has become a key part of being a part of the team here.

About our Head Quarters...

The Pulp Friction Canteen is located at the Nottinghamshire Fire Services Headquarters near Bestwood Park in Nottingham. It is open Monday to Friday and prepares food exclusively for NFRS staff and their visitors.

The canteen is a real working kitchen where members have the opportunity to help prepare food and cater for daily lunchtime service. There are also opportunities to prepare and deliver buffets to events and training venues. The atmosphere is friendly, busy and purposeful. Members learn and develop a new set of skills and complement the skills they have already. We aim to build members self-confidence, work readiness and independence skills.

Throughout the day members work as a team with each other and staff members. Individuals can work at their own pace to ensure they learn new skills in a safe environment without feeling under pressure. We follow the ‘Let’s Get Cooking’ model of food skill and food preparation.

It is our aim to enable individuals to obtain food hygiene and first aid qualifications as part of their experience. Many of our members achieve a level 2 in Food Hygiene and hold basic first aid qualifications.

Meet some of the team here!

Adam is 35, he has had a part-time job at KFC for the last 15 years plating up side orders and taking food to customers waiting in their cars. He joined Pulp Friction in April 2018, he has been a valuable member of the team and during his time with us, he has learnt:

  • Customer service skills.
  • How to use the tills.
  • Teamwork.
  • How to manage his behaviours in a work environment.

Adam's family have told him they have seen a huge improvement in him and are proud of him for continuing to move forward.

"We have a laugh and a joke, everyone here is happy"

Dan is 24 and has been involved with Pulp Friction since 2016. He enjoys loading the dishwasher and working at the NJM Café. He likes helping with the smoothie bike at events and has learnt to:

  • Make cakes and salad.
  • Chop Vegetables.
  • Use different coloured chopping boards.
  • Load the dishwasher.
  • Use the till.

"I like speaking to people and cooking at Pulp Friction"
James is 26 and comes to Pulp Friction every Thursday. James doesn’t communicate verbally; he answers yes and no questions by signalling to the right for yes and left for no.

James likes coming to Pulp Friction and has learnt new things here. He has made friends with other members. At Pulp Friction he has:
  • Helped weigh food
  • Made cakes
  • Chopped food
  • Tidied up

Jenna is 28 and has been with Pulp Friction for almost 2 years. She works in the kitchen and has learnt to:

  • To chop vegetables.
  • Keep surfaces clean.
  • Put away pots.


Jenna works well in a team; she often loads the dishwasher with Will. Jenna says her family have seen a difference in her since she began at Pulp Friction, she is more confident and outgoing and can help out at home.

"It’s a really good organisation and it gets me out during the week, I love it."

Michelle is 29 and has been with Pulp Friction for 6 weeks, she has enjoyed meeting new people during her time here. She has also learnt new skills including:

  • Chopping vegetables
  • Decorating cakes
  • Understanding safety in the kitchen


She hopes to get a job at Pulp Friction in the future.

"When I am here, I have fun and learn new things, I learn more when I’m having fun"

Simmy is 24, during her time here she has gained work experience skills within the kitchen, she has made friends with other members and feels happy when she is here. She has learnt to:

  • Chop safely
  • Wash and dry pots
  • Assist on the till
  • Make hot meals

Simmy says her mum likes her coming to Pulp Friction as she gets to learn new things. She says she is planning to continue her time at Pulp Friction and would like to get a paid job with us when she is ready to get a job. She has also taken part in the Atmosphere Glee choir and Dance Syndrome performance class.

What does our day look like?

Get into work!

Our members arrive, and they get changed into their uniforms. This is the procedure in most kitchens, in line with food safety.

Drink & Morning meeting.

Members then make themselves a hot or cold drink and sit down for the morning meeting. We encourage our members to talk to each other and find out about emotions and other interpersonal relationships.

Job Allocation.

After morning meeting the jobs for the day are allocated which may include working in the kitchen, working in the poly tunnel or a personal development activity eg craft, video work, workbook exercises.

Work Time.

Members carry out their job for an hour and a half. During this work period, we begin to serve customers at HQ as well as ensure members lunches are ready in time for their lunch. We then break for morning break offering time to reflect and allocate jobs for the second half of the morning.


members are given 45-60 minutes for lunch, this allows time to eat lunch, interact with other members and have a rest before afternoon jobs.

Tidying Up.

After lunch, the main task is tidying up the kitchen ensuring it is ready to be used again tomorrow. The kitchen team focus on this task, they grow and learn team either assist or do a different activity outside the kitchen.

Activities & Home Time.

Once the kitchen is clean, members get changed out of their work uniforms. At this point, members can access activities that are good for well-being e.g going for a walk or doing some colouring. This task varies from day to day and only takes place once all cleaning tasks are completed. Members leave between 3:30pm and 4pm.

Our Case Studies

Preparing for the world of work...

When GT joined PF, he thought members only had a place for 6 weeks and then moved on to work. While Pulp Friction offers support for members for as long as they required it GT moved on to work after just 6 weeks with Pulp Friction. Maureen worked with GT to help him choose a suitable work environment. She took him to look around a small complex of shops including a fish and chip shop, a very crowded charity shop and a quieter charity shop. Together they decided the quieter charity shop was a suitable work environment for GT. When GT found out more about the charity, he was very impressed with it and wanted to work for them.

He began working half a day once a week, with Maureen supporting the staff, ensuring they understood GT liked to receive clear instructions but then would not like to be disturbed while working on a task, as he was very focused on the task at hand. Maureen supported GT for two weeks, on his third week GT worked alone. By the fourth week, GT had asked if he could work another day and was working full days. He now works 2-day shifts a week, he is committed and works hard and feels proud of himself for having a job. His mum observed a change in him at home as he is now more outgoing, attesting to the knock-on positive effects of employment.

Maureen believes the smooth transition into work was due to the initial training and taste of the structure of work provided by Pulp Friction.

Preparing for independant living...

BH has been a member of Pulp Friction since 2010. They live independently, however, their experience of moving out did not mirror that of adults without learning difficulties and/or autism.

The house they live in was set up by social services, and while it has the support BH requires to live independently, BH has not been able to move into a house with their friends, an experience many people their age take for granted.

BH was given a chance to meet potential housemates who required similar levels of support and interview them to decide if they would or would not be a good match. While this allowed BH to have a choice in who they were living with, they did not have close friendships with any of their housemates prior to moving in.

Unfortunately, within the first few months of living in the house, it became clear one of their housemates was facing some difficulties which required more support than that available within the house. This had adverse effects on both BH and carers working within the house. For a while, afterwards, BH did not have any housemates living with them, which became quite lonely and isolating. BH also required support to help them move forward after this event when it was time for new people to move in, they became very nervous and worried the same events could potentially unfold again.


BH has always expressed they would like to be able to move into a house with their friends, and now this idea is finally within reaching distance. BH is planning to move into a new supported living house with 3 of their friends. BH is very excited about this but is also a bit nervous, their main concern being the possibility of history repeating itself.

It is clear that past experiences have had a great impact on BH if they were not quite so resilient, they may have given up on living independently and returned to living with their parents. If BH had been able to move in with their friends who they had grown up with, for example, school friends or other members of Pulp Friction, instead of people they did not know prior to moving in together it is possible these events may have been avoided, due to knowing each other’s background and also each other’s families. Moving in with friends who have attended the same school or work together on a daily basis may also make the transition from living at home with parents to living independently less daunting, than moving into a house with people you do not know.


In these two cases in particular our support has been vital in ensuring that these people feel the biggest benefit from working with us, people with learning disabilities deserve the same equal opportunities as anybody else. The services at Pulp Friction has provided them with the stepping stones that they need in order to move into the next stage of life which is working within the world and living independently away from the family home with all the necessary skills needed.

Get involved with us!

We love having new people join our team whether it be volunteers to support us at events or you are looking for a new career working with Pulp Friction, then we would love to hear from you!