Community partnership serves up employability skills

Student Sydney smiling holding a plate of food

National Star students are set to improve their future employment prospects by running the community café at The Folk of Gloucester.

Boosting employability skills

Students wishing to boost their employability skills to get a job or long-term volunteering position after college will be improving their customer service and hospitality skills by running The Folk’s café every Thursday from 10am – 2pm.

Delicious student produced quiches, salads, sandwiches, cakes, and hot and cold drinks will be served every Thursday during term time, to give students the opportunity to chat to customers, work the till and fine-tune their hospitality skills.

Student Sydney said: ‘I am enjoying learning how to work in a café, learning how to communicate with others that I don’t know and how to serve food and wash up.’

The Folk of Gloucester is the former Gloucester Folk Museum at the bottom of Westgate Street in the heart of the city. When it closed as a museum in 2018 the building’s ownership transferred to Gloucester Historic Buildings/Gloucester Civic Trust.

The building is now operating as an inviting events, education, and exhibitions space.

Working in partnership

‘We are excited to be working in partnership with the Gloucester Civic Trust to run the café at The Folk every Thursday,’ said Jayne Hashmat, Head of Learning and Support at National Star.

‘The students are gaining so much from working alongside staff from The Folk serving customers, taking payment and working together to deliver the best possible service to local people,’ said Jayne.

Alex Cooke, Operations Manager at The Folk of Gloucester said: ‘We are delighted to host the fantastic students from National Star College. After working alongside the college for many years I can see so many opportunities for Gloucester Civic Trust and the Folk of Gloucester to give students excellent opportunities and experience. We are open to all to volunteers and hope to become a thriving venue to learn and be inspired. Plus, the food produced by the students at the college is fantastic.’

Find out more

National Star has a proven track record of helping young people with visible and invisible disabilities gain their first job or long-term volunteering position. Previous students now work at The Ivy Restaurant in Cheltenham, Deya brewery and various other independent businesses across the county. For more information on the college’s work programmes visit

The Folk of Gloucester is keen to work in partnership with other community organisations to establish the centre as a warm and welcoming space at the heart of Gloucester city. Discover more at The Folk of Gloucester

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