Disability news

New café gives opportunities for people with learning disabilities

Outside of Crafted cafe

A newly opened Bristol café is providing opportunities for people with learning disabilities.

Cafted has only been in business since 28 October, but the snack bar has already made quite the impression with the locals.

The bistro was a brainwave from the folks at Props, a charity which aims to empower adults with learning disabilities to achieve their full potential.

Lara Jaffey from the charity told BBC News: "If only more places could stop thinking about the end result in terms of money, but think about the value in other ways.

"The value we get about learning from each other, the value we get from being kind in our societies and our communities.

"The one thing we all have in common is that we are different and let's celebrate that."

Aside from their cafés, the charity also provides a cycle hub and print workshop where trainees can learn how to repair bikes and print design.

Jordan Wride has been a trainee with Props for the past 16 years and he enjoys every minute of it!

The 33-year-old said:  "I love it. I love the company, the staff and the customers.

"They always seem to have a great sense of humour."

He added:  "I have only ever done work experience before, which is a bit of a downer.

"But I'm hoping to get paid work in the future, that would be my dream.

"With the right support and with this lovely Props family - I call them my family - behind me, I will get to the right area."

Trainees at the Crafted café are given the choice of serving up food or learning skills such as sewing, graphic design and printing in the workshop during the day.

When evening falls the café opens its doors to a snug bar where customers are served by the Props’ trainees.

Sophie Webster, project assistant at Crafted, told the BBC how she supports the project.

"Every day that I've worked here since we opened has been really busy, which is amazing,” she said.

"I joined Props when I was getting furloughed during the pandemic, and liked it so much I decided to stay.

"We are just like a little family, everyone is looking out for each other.

"The whole aspect of not letting barriers stop the trainees from working and living an independent life is what I love."

[ In addition to the Crafted café Props has a Tapestry brewery in St Phillip's and Vassall café, also in Fishponds. ]

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