Farsley hospitality businesses help tackle social isolation among autistic people

Amity Brew Co at Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley

Words: Damon Cooper

Edited: John Baron

West Leeds hospitality businesses have teamed up to tackle social isolation in lockdown by collaborating with Connections, a group which mixes young people on the autistic spectrum with their peers. 

Their Hospitality Against Loneliness campaign is bringing together independent businesses including Grumpy’s Restaurant and Amity Brew Co in Farsley with La Taberna and Jenny’s Jerk Chicken and connects them with passionate individuals like Elliot Ledsam, who is a regional operations manager for a national chain of restaurants. 

Between them they aim to provide cooking sessions to people on the autistic spectrum. Elliott said:

“I definitely know a few people who could help teach safe cooking lessons to people on the autistic spectrum. I know that is a huge part of becoming more independent.”

Alex Rogerson, from Grumpy’s in Farsley, added:

“We’re always looking for community projects to get involved with and we’d love to encourage more people to support the brilliant work with Lighthouse Futures Trust and Damon have been doing to promote inclusivity for young people in Leeds.”

It has been a busy last year for Grumpy’s, from celebrating local heroes through a community art project, Faces of Farsley, which saw stickers featuring nominees placed all over the village to recently winning Best Food Joint for the Best in Yorkshire Awards 2020.

La Taberna has recently cemented itself as the number-one ranked restaurant in Leeds on Tripadvisor after a streak of great reviews whilst the owner of Jenny’s Jerk Chicken at  Leeds Market has been running a charity during lockdown sourcing nutritious food to disadvantaged families across the region – both are keen to help out on this project. 

jennifer's jerk chicken
Jenny Ardene from Jennifer’s Jerk Chicken in Leeds Kirkgate Market. Photo: Tom Williamson

“It’ll be a pleasure to help” Jennifer Ardene from Jenny’s Jerk Chicken added. 

Lighthouse School was initially founded by a group of local parents and launched in Pudsey in the early part of the last decade.

The charity has since found a permanent site at Arthington House in Cookridge and has recently secured Moorfield House, a grade II listed building, to launch a college further education college for young adults with autism and learning disabilities.

The campaign group was inspired by the legacy of murdered Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox, who has inspired people across the country to tackle loneliness in any way they can.

If you want to get involved then please contact the charity on info@lighthousefuturestrust.org.uk and someone will be in touch. 

Hospitality Against Loneliness is also reaching out to businesses in the industry to join them in this fight so stayed tuned for any updates. 


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