12 October 2021
Peter Williams was working long hours whilst living on the Isles of Scilly; in an office job by day and as a chef by night, before he was signed off with stress and decided to leave both his jobs in 2019.
He had always had an idea about using his culinary skills to support people who needed it most. After returning to the mainland, he joined an employment support programme, ‘Who Dares Works’ run by Pentreath, a mental health charity, where he was referred to the Outset Cornwall and Focus from the Outset programme.
With no business background or training Peter knew it would be challenging to realise his ambitions.
‘I started from a completely clean slate and initially had no idea where to go. The idea of writing a business plan when you’ve never seen one before is so daunting, but Outset and Focus made it really easy. The sessions were broken down into easily digestible chunks; everything just slotted in to place week by week and before you know it the whole plan had come together.’
Peter’s business is a Community Interest Company (CIC) called ‘Thoughtful Food’ which aims to teach people that food can be fun, via workshops covering basic cooking and meal planning skills. His personal experience of living on very limited resources and in a single parent family, has shown him how financial stress can impact mental well-being.
‘When it comes to home cooking, households in the UK throw away on average over 30% of all food purchased. Not only is this an incredible amount of wastage, but an unnecessary waste of money too. I was lucky enough to be brought up by my mother who helped me to see food as an opportunity to make savings whilst at the same time bring family together, rather than cooking being a chore. I plan to run courses through referral organisations such as the Job Centre, to help people who need these life skills the most.’
Peter completed the personal development and enterprise Focus programme with Outset Cornwall via face-to-face and then virtual training sessions during the coronavirus crisis and is now on his way to launching a socially conscious and well-timed business venture.
‘Outset and Focus, particularly the personal development sessions, has helped me learn how to build part of my life which is work orientated again. Being able to better separate my work and personal life is helping me create an environment where I can settle down and do what I need to do. They have helped me go from feeling completely incapable, to being in the process of setting up my own business.’
We hope Peter’s story inspires you to start your new business venture, with Focus from the Outset.