Charity Brandon Trust has opened a new café in the centre of Bristol with the goal of creating a ‘community hub’ that will employ people with learning disabilities and autism.
The cafe is being run in partnership with Saint Stephen’s Church, who’s grounds house the eatery from 9:30am-3:30pm Monday to Friday, and will also offer others supported by the charity the chance to learn skills to gain paid work.
Brandon Trust Locality manager Jo Cullum said: “We’re really excited about this partnership with the church. The opportunity to offer paid work to people with learning disabilities in a supported environment is so important to us as an organisation.
“Social enterprises are the way forward and can offer such amazing opportunities. We’ve many years’ experience in providing employment training in some of our other cafes and over the last few years we’ve seen a sharp rise in the number of people coming to us with an interest in catering. As a result, we have lots of excellent work ready candidates that have expressed an interest in these positions.”
There will also be regular social events and exhibitions held at the venue, alongside concerts in the adjoining church.
Vicar of Saint Stephen’s Revd Lee Barnes added: “When we had an open morning in March to discuss the future of the cafe space, and developing a community hub for the Old City, little did I know it would end in an exciting partnership with Brandon Trust.
“We are delighted as a community to have this great opportunity both for the city and the church. Brandon Trust’s purpose, values and aims appropriately resonate with the vision of Saint Stephen’s to be a creative place of gathering for those in the city. We hope that this will be a partnership that continues to flourish and develop.”