Giving never tasted so good

PRESS RELEASE: Birmingham-based Michelin star chef Brad Carter has partnered with Smiley Movement and a local knifemaker, to donate the proceeds from an artisanal chef’s knife to young people’s charity All Saints Youth Project.

Creating innovative food from his restaurant, Carters of Moseley, Brad Carter had a powerful desire to help those in his local community. But tied down by up to 18 hours of work a day, he lacked the time for charitable work.

“I’ve always wanted to help and use what I’ve done with my life to help others,” he explained. “I think if you get five really good things in life, then you should give one back. So if you get a nice house, a nice car, a nice jacket, a nice telly and a nice meal at a fancy restaurant, for the next thing you should give something back.”

As a corporate partner of the brand licensing company, Smiley™, he decided instead that the best way he could contribute was through fundraising, and Smiley™’s global head of partnerships, Matt Winton stepped in to select All Saints Youth Project (ASYP) as their beneficiary. 

ASYP is a young people’s organisation offering local youths a safe recreational space, away from the hardships of life and society today, providing counselling if they need it. 

Carter joined forces with his friend, Benjamin Edmonds, a Midlands knife maker from Blok Knives, to design a handmade knife from which 10 per cent of the profits will go to the youth charity. The pair launched the project with a video explaining how Edmonds created the knife and the ideas behind it.

A personal connection

Nearly half of the young people who attend ASYP sessions have learning difficulties including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), something that touches Carter personally.

He explained: “All Saints Youth Project resonates quite closely to my heart. Growing up through school in the ‘80s and the ‘90s, the thing that these children have is something that was undiagnosable when I was younger. When I was at school it’s something that I definitely suffered from but I was just branded ‘naughty’ whereas actually, children just learn in completely different ways.”

Winton added: “Brad’s got a really interesting story. When you get under the skin of these relationships and you talk to people, you find out their story then you get the logical connection with the charity. What we wanted to do with the charity was find something that’s really touched Brad’s life.”

Cutting through to what matters

Building on his previous charitable endeavours, including feeding the homeless over Christmas, the knife project helps Carter to transform the symbol of a knife, usually linked to crime and harm, into a symbol of productivity. 

Reflecting on how the project will impact the young people it serves, he explained: “I hope that they see the knife as a really positive symbol. Because all you ever hear about knives is negativity. I understand it because of how they’re used. Kids get into gangs and it’s the easiest thing to get hold of to use in the wrong way. But I hope they see this knife as a thing of beauty, a thing that they can hold and change their life in a positive way.

“I also hope that it inspires people to think about cooking and providing because my job is a really important job in the world and a life skill. Working in a restaurant, even just for a few months, they’ll pick up skills that they can use for the rest of their lives.”


About All Saints Youth Project 

ASYP serves young people aged 10 upwards with four youth club sessions a week. Their byline is “All Saints Youth Club, not just a club” because the charity goes beyond offering diversion for young people. Intertwined in their work to support local youths, they care deeply about their mental health, offering counselling services for those who need it. In the past, they have also provided support for parents facing difficulty caring for their teenage children.

Co-founder of ASYP Mary Miles explained that through their support for young people, the organisation tackles issues such as knife crime, unhealthy relationships, peer pressure and damaging internet content.

To support their work you can donate or volunteer by getting in touch via [email protected]