Students launch Gloucester community cafe

Student working at a till

National Star students have teamed up with a Gloucester community association to launch a café to build stronger links in the community.

Work Outcomes students are putting their customer service and hospitality skills into action at the new Elmscroft Community Café, open every Thursday between 11am to 2pm at Elmscroft Community Centre, near Armscroft Park, in Gloucester. With the coronavirus pandemic, securing work placements for young people with disabilities has become increasingly difficult. But students can prepare for work with the help of the Elmscroft Community Café.

Sandwiches and soup

Students are baking cakes, making sandwiches and soup to sell in the café and serving customers. They have also been promoting the café in the local community, delivering flyers door-to-door and talking to local residents. This in turn has improved their communication skills and overall confidence.

Elmscroft Community Association received a grant from Gloucestershire County Council to help set up the community café. The money will be used to buy new furniture and other equipment in order to support the café.

‘For many people with a disability, finding and securing a long-term job can be difficult. A disabled person can apply for sixty per cent more jobs than their non-disabled counterparts before getting a role,’ said Jayne Hashmat, Head of National Star’s Work Outcomes Programme.

‘We run a number of programmes for young people with a range of disabilities to prepare them for work. These programmes, which remain open to new applicants, are needed more than ever before,’ said Jayne.   

Warm welcome for all 

Anne Radley, Chairman at Elmscroft Community Association said: ‘We are delighted to be working in partnership with National Star. The café is a fabulous place for local residents to meet up, reducing social isolation for older members of the community. It will also provide a welcoming space for parents of young children to get together.

‘It is fantastic to see Elmscroft Community Centre buzzing with life and playing a part in maintaining an active community spirit in the local area.’

Learn more about National Star’s work related learning programmes 

Elmscroft Community Café is open every Thursday, during term-time, between 11am – 2pm. How to find the Café

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