Community café praised as it marks third anniversary
- Credit: Cambridgeshire County Council
A community café in March that helps people with learning difficulties gain skills for employment has been praised as it marks its third anniversary.
Hot Pots coffee shop, set up in October 2018, has continued to thrive despite the challenges of the pandemic and currently offers placements for 11 volunteers.
They have gained confidence by serving customers and preparing food and coffees.
A couple of the volunteers who now feel ready have been working with job coaches at the Thera Trust to work on their CV, apply for jobs and attend interviews.
Cllr Richard Howitt, chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s (CCC) adults and health committee, visited on October 13 to congratulate the café's staff and volunteers.
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He also found out what local people with learning difficulties think about the council’s services.
“They’re incredibly friendly at Hot Pots and the service is top notch,” said Richard.
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“It’s to their credit that the café continues to make such good progress despite a challenging 18 months.
“Being able to work is so empowering, so it’s wonderful to see the efforts being made to help people gain the confidence and skills needed to make that leap into employment.
“I can fully recommend a visit for anyone fancying a cuppa and a cake or panini!”
Richard added that he hopes the work being done at Hot Pots will inspire more people with learning difficulties to come forward and find out how the council can support them.
The scheme is one of several run by Cambridgeshire County Council's in house provider services.
Others include TAG Bikes and The Gardening Project (based in Huntingdon) and Ely Community Café.
These offer day opportunities which aim to support individuals to gain work experience, increase their independence and skills and offer support to find paid employment.
Hot Pots is open from 10:30am-2:30pm Monday to Wednesday at March Community Centre, as well as Thursdays and Fridays at March Town Cricket Club.
A successful takeaway service has also been launched, as well as a bakery at the cricket club.
You can follow Hot Pots café on their Facebook page.