Elle R Leisure Ltd - Project Okra

A positive action scheme, to increase the number of female chefs in the hsopitality industry.

The purpose of the project is to support women in catering, to fill a talent skills GAP. Funded by business from within the network and in this case, Elle R shared some of the costs.

Elle R Lesuire wanted to address the under-representation of female chefs, as they believe “female chefs make great chefs.”  

The women have been supported through personal and professional development, community café volunteering, outside catering work experience and then went onto a 10-week placement within Albert's Worsley, an Elle R Leisure fine dining restaurant.  

Project Okra in action
Project Okra in action

Their own Executive Chef Becky Bardsley is leading the way - “We work with around 40 rota chefs, 5 are women. Across the industry women are massively underrepresented, we are committed to making a difference and by nurturing talent from our local communities, we will employ more women chefs in our business. As a mum, myself, I can vouch that it is possible to do the job you love, juggle a family and the hours, if you work for the right company like Elle R Leisure.


Elle R Leisure 

Big Top Catering

Antz Services

  • Alternative Recruitment
  • Measurement
  • Training
  • Networking
  • Strategy
  • Consultancy


5 long-term unemployed women supported 

4 women gained employment 

450 hours of training supplied

£46,800 savings to society

Related Media
ANTZ on BBC North West Sunday Politics 2nd July 2017 Clip
Industry accredited training during the project
Project Okra members became part of the Elle R Leisure team
Post-project celebration
Becky Bardsley, Executive Chef, Elle R leisure.

We are so pleased that we have been able to have such a huge impacts on the womens lives and in turn, it looks like we have gained some dedicated, hardworking additions to the team! So pleased to be a part of it all.

Project Okra Member

Since moving from Italy to the UK over two years ago, she has not been working. She felt this was just the project she needed, as she loves to cook.She has secured part-time employment with Elle R Leisure as a chef in their al a carte restaurants.

Project Okra Member

The project was her new start, a fresh beginning. She learned lots of new skills both professionally and personally, made new friends, and without this project, she would not like to think where she would be today. She has secured full-time employment with Elle R leisure.

Project Okra Member

Thank you very much for your help and your effort, you are all amazing.