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Big Help Project to open new educational centre for students and school-leavers in Kirkby

In a location formerly used to train doctors and medical staff, Big Help Project has acquired the former PLAB Right Centre on Oatlands Road in Kirkby, continuing its legacy as a hub for providing brilliant education by establishing Big Help’s Centre of Academic Excellence.

As an organisation that originated in Kirkby, and still maintains strong roots there and with its residents, this new development of services reinforces the organisation’s dedication to help those living in the area, and provide access to opportunities which they may not have
previously been afforded.

Through an innovative partnership with Southport College, Big Help will be launching and facilitating a series of culinary apprenticeship opportunities intended to equip young people with the skills and knowledge necessary to get their best foot forward in their chosen career field. Big Help will also be investing significant resources into ensuring best in class facilities are installed at the site, making it an ideal environment for learning.

Initially, the available apprenticeships will be within the two fields of Health and Wellbeing, and Hospitality. Further to this, Big Help will then be utilizing its strong relationships with employers across the Liverpool City Region to enable placement opportunities during study, and employment opportunities in the aforementioned industries upon their graduation.

Big Help Project wishes to maximize the life outcomes for all those enrolled onto apprenticeships at the Oatlands centre, working proactively with each student to understand each person’s circumstances and alleviate any barriers to learning through provision of the charity’s additional wraparound services, such as debt, welfare, employability, and wellbeing support.


Big Help Group’s Chief Operating Officer, Simon Cowie, said:

“Offering chef apprenticeships to Knowsley school leavers who will help us produce meals for the community across Knowsley and the wider Liverpool city region will be a fully sustainable project with a long-term future. Supporting the apprentices with real vocational training and life skills we believe that they will go on to achieve success in a growing hospitality industry across Merseyside.”

Head of Health & Wellbeing, Tammy Burgess, said:

“We hope to revolutionize education and empower young people to live healthier and happy lives, whilst spreading the knowledge they have learnt on the courses across our communities. Whilst the emphasis is on wellbeing, the programme will equip students with strategies to manage stress, build resilience, and promote mental and physical health.”