A Pimlico restaurant is hiring young people in temporary accommodation

Fat Macy's helps its staff pay deposits for a more secure home

Wednesday, 3rd February 2021 — By Isabelle Stanley

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Shelly Coker, left, and Flo Wilson at Fat Macy’s in Pimlico

A RESTAURANT that hires young people living in temporary accommodation has opened in Pimlico.

Fat Macy’s was founded by Meg Doherty who got the idea for the social enterprise while working in a homeless hostel.

Once a trainee completes 200 hours of work, Fat Macy’s helps pay the deposit on a private rented home.

At other work mile-stones, a trainee can get help paying for a driver’s licence, or help to buy clothes for a job interview. The scheme currently has nine trainees and has helped three people into new homes.

The young people are given culinary training and the initiative works closely with councils and housing associations to find young people who may be suitable to take part.

One trainee, Shelly Coker, 25, started working at Fat Macy’s this week.

She says she is doing it because she wants to get her own place and to start a masters degree in law. Another ex-trainee has gone on to work for the Fat Macy’s Foundation to encourage new young people to join the scheme.

Culinary director Nathalie Moukarzel said the area had seemed “welcoming”, and added: “It’s great. Before this we never got to see people actually come in and enjoy the food.”

She said the main benefit of expanding in Westminster was that it “widens the net” and means that they will be able to help more young people. Fat Macy’s started out as a catering business for weddings, dinner parties, and corporate events.

The new premises on Ebury Bridge Road in Pimlico is the first time they have had a restaurant.

The new deli serves everything from breakfasts to full dinners, but Ms Moukarzel said “the baked goods are always a top hit”. And now, she added, she is considering introducing a “sandwich of the month” that will picked by Pimlico residents.

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