A café, which celebrates the skills of islanders with autism and other learning disabilities, has teamed up with Jersey Heritage to open a new tearoom at La Hougue Bie this winter.
The new venue will allow Beresford Street Kitchen (BSK) to provide an additional 10,000 hours of crew training and employment a year.
Run by the Aspire Charitable Trust, the café with a conscience was set up to provide opportunities for people with learning disabilities.
Pictured: The café opened in August 2017.
It opened in August 2017 to great acclaim and has been going from strength to strength since. Just under a year after it opened, the team nabbed the ‘Best Customer Service in Food & Drink’ at the Customer Service Awards - an award they are nominated for again this year.
In April 2018, the café branched out into printing with a dedicated workshop that gave 12 islanders with learning disabilities and autism the opportunity to train and learn new skills in the hope they will then be able to get employment in local companies.
Combined, the two outlets employ over 50 people, enabling them to gain practical experience in a wide range of catering and hospitality operations including customer service skills, barista skills and food preparation, as well as printing.
Video: Inside Beresford Street Kitchen printing workshop with Charlotte, Heidi and Ryan.
All the money generated through sales in the café and workshop goes back into the charity - and the more money BSK raises, the more positions they can offer.
Last December, BSK expanded further with a contract with the States of Jersey Police to cater the canteen at Police HQ.
The new partnership with Jersey Heritage will mean even more islanders can gain training and employment. The move has been made possible thanks to grant funding from the Association of Jersey Charities and the Lloyds Foundation.
Announcing the news on their Facebook page, BSK said: “This exciting project will enhance the experience of locals and visitors at one of the Island’s most historic sites, while also giving BSK the opportunity to spread its wings and provide a second location for training and employment.
“This project will allow us to provide approximately 10,000 additional hours of crew training and employment a year.”
The announcement was met with a wave of supportive comments from the café’s customers.
“Oh this is the best news!” Emma Slaughter wrote. “Brilliant news well done, look forward to another oasis to enjoy,” added Tim Tindall.
“Two birds, one stone. La Hougue Bie has needed a cafe for years,” said Viv Armstrong.
“Fantastic news, well done everyone involved, you are doing an amazing job providing opportunities for people who would not ordinarily be able to have the training and learning environment that you have provided for them,” commented Michelle Quail. “Thank you from a parent who has seen a dramatic change in their child's life.”
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