A WORTHING day centre for adults with learning disabilities is offering them hands-on work experience by opening its own café.
Coastal Enterprises, a West Sussex County Council day centre in Brougham Road, offers adults with learning difficulties training in a range of areas, including cooking, horticulture and woodwork.
And they will now get the chance to apply what they have learned by working in the Coastal Cuppa café, which was opened earlier this month.
To begin with, it will be open one day a week for people who use the centre, but there are plans to open it to the public in the future.
Assistant manager of Coastal Enterprises, Caroline Badger-Clark, said: “We’re offering training to get the service users here into meaningful work and, if not that, to get them into the community.
“Work is important for everybody and just because you have a learning disability doesn’t mean it’s not important.
“Here, people can gain work skills in a supportive, safe environment, and now they can gain the experience of working in a café.”
Coastal Enterprises has been opened to adults with learning difficulties for nearly 20 years. As well as providing a the day centre service, it also has its own business, Coastal Cookies. The firm funds some of the centre’s activities and is partly staffed by the adults who use it.
One of the members of staff is Lorraine Gibson, works at there four days a week. She said: “I’m quite chuffed with the opening of the café. I think it’s going to be good fun and will get more people and money in the centre. Coming here has improved my confidence and given me good work skills.”
Helen Pritchard, 33, from Willow Crescent, Durrington, said: “Since coming here, I’ve improved my communication skills and confidence. I like coming here because I get to see my friends, and one day I would like to get a job.”
Coastal Enterprises is looking for volunteers. For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01903 239460.