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About Us

Dodie Piddock is the founder of Starting Step, a social enterprise set up to work with the harder to reach young people, people with convictions, their families and those socially isolated from society. Whilst working in the third sector for the past 13 years it became clear that there are still many areas where those in need fall through the cracks.

​Having spent many years listening to people who have suffered from discrimination, been let down, ignored and forgotten we want the chance to know that we have done absolutely everything to give those people the best chance to turn their lives around. Finding employment can be an uphill struggle for so many who are suffering from social isolation. Starting Step will support them with bespoke training in a supportive environment. To do this we have chosen a commercially run café bistro, Rascals, with all the back up to enable and empower people to be the best they can be. Ably supported by an experienced and committed Board she is driven by the need to make a difference and be the voice for those not heard, both 2 and 4 legged. Rascals will be a vegan café/bistro. 


Hospitality because it is a growing market and therefore gives real opportunity for the future of our students, trainees and volunteers.

Vegan because we believe the future of food is plant based for the environment, the climate and especially for the welfare of all animals.

VEGAN because we ALL matter

Rascals will focus on great food, excellent service, innovative training and doing our bit for the environment, animal welfare and the future. We will use locally sourced produce and by so doing support the local economy. We will be growing our own fruit and vegetables; composting all relevant food waste and reducing our carbon footprint wherever possible;

Cow and Calf
Holding Hands


​Our Mission is:-

To improve the life chances of those who suffer from social disadvantage and give them the tools to be the best they can be.

To use hospitality and horticulture to inspire individuals to achieve their potential.

To build sustainable training venues that give real life work experience that leads to future employment.

To encourage a growth in plant-based diets and a reduction in animal agriculture.

To provide relevant, reliable and effective support for all working with us.

To work with relevant specialists in both  mental health and trauma support for the benefit of our people.

To do this we will:-

Establish a commercially viable vegan café/bistro, Rascals.

Develop a kitchen garden that will provide both training and organic stock for Rascals and seed boxes for the community.

Establish a sustainable vegan cookery school and event space; this will also work with the local community, schools and third sector enterprises.

Fruit Tarts
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