CHARITY OF THE YEAR: Buddys is nominated by Jenny Stead

BUDDYS is the most special place Jenny Stead has ever visited.

And that is why she has nominated it as the Charity of the Year.

Jenny is a volunteer at the South Farm Road-based café providing work experience for people with learning difficulties, which she said she became “hooked” upon from her first visit.

“I stopped by for a cup of coffee and was served by the most polite young man who clearly had learning difficulties,” she said.

“The service was better than I had experienced in any café in Worthing and I felt very welcome. I got to know a bit more about Buddys and immediately wanted to be involved.”

Buddys was opened by Worthing Mencap in June 2007 as a café and drop-in centre where people with learning difficulties and their families could go and feel comfortable.

It has grown considerably since then, and is now a popular meeting place for people from all walks of life.

Jenny, 45, of First Avenue, Worthing, helps to run the retirement club for people with learning difficulties, which is run from Buddys every Thursday. She also runs a monthly outreach group for young people with high-functioning Asperger’s syndrome.

She said: “It is a pleasure and a privilege to help, and in fact, has seen me through some very difficult medical problems of my own. I had a back operation, and they really kept me going, by sending me cards and things like that.

“It’s the most special place and somewhere you could never be miserable. I am absolutely passionate about it.”

For more information about Buddys, which is open from 10am-2pm, Wednesday to Saturday, call 01903 202030.