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Kitchen Spotlight: PSDS, Reigate

PSDS provides support to children and young people with Down syndrome living in Surrey and West Sussex. Their “see potential, celebrate success” ethos encourages parents, professionals and society as a whole to see beyond a diagnosis of Down syndrome.

New building, new kitchen

PSDS had spent 18 years running its support activities in village and church halls, and it was a long-standing ambition to acquire their own building, which would become their ‘centre of excellence’, bringing all services under one roof, and allowing PSDS to fully embed into a community.

In 2023, they found their new home. In order to teach teens and young adults cookery and life skills, that home needed a kitchen. However, PSDS knew a domestic-style kitchen wouldn’t do the job.

The look and feel of the kitchen was vitally important. It had to offer a feeling of professionalism for young people learning to cook and prepare food, but PSDS didn’t want that environment to appear austere or off-putting.

In the search for the perfect solution, PSDS found Steelplan Kitchens and found that a semi-commercial kitchen would tick the boxes. They found that Steelplan’s colourful units, and functional and robust units and surfaces were the perfect solution.

Important features

As well as look and feel, safety and accessibility were vitally important. Features like an anti-slip floor were crucial, and Steelplan identified that the material of the hung ceiling would need to be replaced with an easily cleanable surface.

PSDS wanted a boiling water tap as a safer and more controlled alternative to a kettle, but that needed to be unlockable with a pin code, to prevent any accidents. Steelplan sourced and incorporated a tap with those features.

Three days a week, PSDS works with preschool children, and it was important that the kitchen could accommodate them as well. While they wouldn’t be cooking or preparing food, they would be encouraged to wash their fruit in the kitchen. As such, the kitchen needed a lower surface that the very young could reach and use.

Long-term goals

Part of the vision for a permanent and dedicated home for PSDS was to operate in the heart of a community. The long-term aim was to open a community café, where the young people could make and serve food and drink to the public, which would become a neighbourhood hub, and a place for young people to grow in skill and confidence.

The new kitchen needed to offer that space to grow, both in the sense of physically being able to accommodate multiple users, but also in being well-equipped enough to make a small-scale food business viable. Steelplan worked with PSDS to assess current and future needs, and installed three ovens, each with an induction hob and extractor fan. Additionally, we included a wheeled central island which could be available should more work surface be required, and could easily be moved if it wasn’t needed.

Choosing the design

Having narrowed the choice down to two providers, PSDS found that Steelplan’s welcoming but practical designs were exactly what they needed. It was also useful to see the design in 3D — PSDS’s trustees work remotely, so having access to a three-dimensional visualisation of how the kitchen would look in the space made the decision even easier.

The installation was completed in February 2024. Peter Brackett, one of PSDS’s founders and its current treasurer, reported that he and the whole team were delighted with the result.

Searching for your community kitchen?

If this looks like something your community venue needs, then be sure to speak to our team to arrange a design consultation. Steelplan Kitchens can help you design and install a semi-commercial kitchen that’s long-lasting, but still makes you feel at home. Get in touch with our friendly team today at 0844 809 9186, or by emailing [email protected].

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