Joint police and fire HQ provides fresh challenge for social enterprise

Nottinghamshire-based social enterprise Pulp Friction was set up to provide people with disabilities the chance to gain work experience in a busy kitchen. The project first began in the canteen at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters, in November 2015, with help from Station Manager Chris Emmott. In recent years, Pulp Friction also had a small service at the existing Nottinghamshire Police Headquarters. Now, as part of Nottinghamshire’s new joint police and fire headquarters, Pulp Friction has moved to the new canteen at Sherwood Lodge.

The canteen provides hot food and drinks to around 2000 Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service staff.

Jill Carter, CEO at Pulp Friction, said, “We have been welcomed with open arms to our new canteen at joint headquarters. The change is massive for our members, moving into a much bigger environment with new pressures. We are a small organisation, but this is a great step for us. We have been able to provide two members with paid part-time employment, and we hope to continue this further.”

The Pulp Friction team is made up of nine people. Two already worked for Pulp Friction, and seven more have been recruited. Members are gradually moving over to allow them to get used to the environment at their own pace.

The partnership also helps to prevent food from ending up on landfill sites, by preparing meals with food which is nearing its sell by date.

Craig Parkin, Deputy Chief Fire Officer at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said, “Pulp Friction is well-loved by all our staff. This new venture will provide new challenges for the team, but I have every faith that members will continue to develop skills and confidence, while providing the same excellent service they always do.”

The joint headquarters formally opened in January 2022, with representatives from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, Nottinghamshire Police, the Fire Authority, and the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Rachel Barber, Deputy Chief Constable at Nottinghamshire Police, said, “We are really pleased to have Pulp Friction running our new canteen at Sherwood Lodge.

“Pulp Friction are a local social enterprise employing the skills of adults with learning disabilities. By working alongside the Police and Fire Service, it gives a fantastic opportunity for interaction between our staff and their employees, as well as allowing both services to interact whilst sampling their excellent food.”

Pulp Friction also help raise money for The Fire Fighters Charity and provide catering services to wider organisations across Nottinghamshire.