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Lilys Social Bistro Exterior

28th February 2023

Produced in Kent’s Charity of the Year - Lilys Social Kitchen

Produced in Kent are delighted to announce their 2023 Charity of the Year: Lily's Social Kitchen CIC. We caught up with Kiera Rodda at Lily's to find out more about them....

What does Lilys aim to achieve?

We launched Lily’s Kitchen because we wanted to find a way of creating opportunities for people from all walks of life to access work and training.

Using the power of food, our mission is to bring people together.

To do this, we offer employment and work experience to those who are often overlooked. That could be because they are homeless, have mental health problems, have a learning disability or may be adjusting to life after prison.

Our goal is to give enough training to our staff members to eventually have Lily’s be self- sufficient. This means it will be 100% run by those who are vulnerable…How great would that be!

This also gives the opportunity to our staff chose whether they stay with Lily’s, or use the skills they have learned with us to find a job elsewhere!

How can people get involved?

Our ambition is to find permanent work for everyone who trains with us. You can help by becoming a Friend of Lily’s. As a not for profit organisation we rely on support and donations from organisations and individuals

You can also support us by eating at one of our cafes in Canterbury and Ashford or use us to cater for your parties and events. As a business you can use us for your meeting and event catering.

Who is the driving force at Lilys?

I have spent the last 25 years working in a variety of social care and education settings but with a real interest in working alongside autistic people and understanding their talents and the challenges they face. I came to realise the lack of real work opportunities that are available for this group of amazing people and so took the plunge and set up Lily’s to try and address this gap. As the organisation has developed I have realised all the other groups of people who also face barriers to meaningful, paid work and so it has been a surprise but exciting to also look at how we can expand our remit and encompass these individuals in our project. With total love and dedication from my family, friends, trustees, volunteers, paid staff and of course amazing customers, we’ve worked hard to build a project which I hope brings joy to everyone and helps them find their ‘tribe’

Zoe Rodda is the founder, and a director of Lily’s, and Lily’s is the reality of an idea she had for many years while working within the social care industry.

Lilys Social Ashford Exterior

Lily's at Singleton, Ashford

Our Singleton Cafe is a "Pay as You Feel" site

Lilys Social Bistro Exterior

Lily's Social Kitchen, Canterbury

We launched Lily’s Kitchen because we wanted to find a way of creating opportunities for people from all walks of life to access work and training.

Lilys coffee and bacon sandwich

Lily's The Hub Cafe