The chefs at 16 Air Assault Brigade are regular volunteers in the kitchens at CENS and here they share their story.

We first got involved with CENS back in 2014, as part of a local community project put together by Jim Tallon, who was the Brigade Catering Warrant Officer. He wanted the chefs to get involved with a local charity to help engage the younger soldiers with the community. Our involvement with CENS has continued ever since and we have now been providing military catering support every Thursday night for 7 years. 

Volunteering at CENS is so valuable – it has allowed our younger chefs to experience cooking for members of the public without being shadowed by their supervisors, letting them take full responsibility for the evening meal. The shelter is such an incredible cause, and it’s a real privilege for us to be able to give something back to the community. We have met some great characters at CENS. The residents are always keen to chat to us and love to help prepare and cook the meal. 

Over the years, we have also enjoyed organising events to raise funds to pay for us to serve Christmas dinner at the shelter to demonstrate how much we appreciate the residents and the dedicated staff who keep CENS running 365 days a year.

CENS Essential Shopping List

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Hot chocolate
  • UHT milk
  • Squash
  • Vgetable oil
  • Gravy granules
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salt & pepper
  • Stock cubes
  • Herbs and spices
  • Tinned fruit
  • Tinned/packet custard
  • Baked beans
  • Tinned tuna
  • Tinned vegetables & potatoes
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Kidney beans
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Jam, peanut butter, chocolate spread
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Men & women’s deodorant
  • Men’s razors
  • Shave gel
  • Shower gel
  • Toothpaste
  • Cloths
  • Scourers
  • Washing up liquid
  • Surface cleaners
  • Floor cleaner
  • Bleach
  • Bathroom cleaners
  • Bin bags
  • Food caddy liners
  • Loo roll
  • Washing tablets
  • AA batteries
  • NEW single duvets
  • Pillows/pillowcases
  • Single duvet covers/sheets
  • Clean/good condition towels

Please no soups!
Thank you