Pulp Friction

Business, Community • Broxtowe, Gedling, Nottingham

Offering people with Learning Disabilities and Autism an opportunity to get into work.

  • The team arriving for an inspirational day at St Anns Allotments-Ecoworks.
  • Paul explains about the importance of allotments
  • trees

Pulp Friction's story

Pulp Friction Charity is a growing social enterprise based in the East Midlands. We support people with a variety of learning disabilities, getting into work. Established in 2009, Pulp Friction started when Jessie (one of our directors) wanted to get into work in her local area. She began with a smoothie bike and when she was invited to a community BBQ, Jill saw the potential in the bike as a business. However, she found that local businesses were not going to be able to accommodate her needs in the workplace, which is where the desire for work started. Jessie applied to the Youth Opportunities Fund successfully and received enough money to purchase what they needed to get Pulp Friction started.

Since 2009 we have supported hundreds of young people with learning disabilities and/or Autism to get into work and be a part of a working environment. We now have a "dig-in" allotment based in Stapleford, which offers our members an opportunity to start growing fruit and trees. Our wormery, provided by "Urban Worm" gives our members a chance to learn about sustainability and composting. In 2020, we acquired a polytunnel at our Head Quarters, offering members a chance to learn about vegetable growth. We also work closely with FareShare, the national "no waste" chain, who provide us with food that would have otherwise gone to waste.

We support the Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Head Quarters and the Nottinghamshire Police Service in providing an essential lunch and beverage service. In a year, we have fed over 10,000 people using food that would have otherwise gone to waste.

Alongside the Catering Team, we have the Grow and Learn Team. Members in this group participate in workshops and activities based on food hygiene and food safety to ensure everyone has the correct knowledge to work safely in the Catering Team.

The Grow and Learn team also support our members to develop additional skills outside of those developed in the kitchen. Members get to do gardening, arts and crafts, walks, topical workshops, and exercise workshops alongside other opportunities too.

Useful learnings from Pulp Friction

Our gardening expert Beth researched all the local growing initiatives alongside other members of staff at Pulp Friction. We found out from our members what they wanted to do or learn about. We also found out what strengths we had as a team and if we had any contacts out in the community. It is a good way of growing a project if you ask other like minded people to help you, or share their experiences.

Community allotments and gardens are a good place to start. We visited Arkwright Meadows Community Garden, Whitemoor Gardens, Nottingham Organic Gardens and St Anns Allotments amongst others to find out more about their composting, their growing techniques and how they involve volunteers in their plans.

One of the challenges we faced was that some of or members are not confident at walking long distances or using public transport, so in order to visit projects we needed to use a transport method that supported everyones needs.

Beth made lots of videos about gardening initially and the project grew from there. Visual and entertaining ways of sharing vital information worked well-our members got the growing bug and wanted to find out more.

Our advice is to start small and not over whelm people -provide seeds to grow some tomatoes or sunflowers etc. Host some community planting days. Host some community harvesting days and then cook together.

Pulp Friction's metrics

Number of people attending our sessions.

Feeling inspired? Discover more about this story...

Response to climate crisis





Business, Community, 10 to 49 people

Shared by

Midlands Net Zero Hub

Updated Nov, 2023

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