New Ottery cafe supporting residents with learning disabilities to have open morning

PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 November 2017

Leaners of able2achieve from Yeovil have come down to help set up the cafe ahead of its open day in Ottery on Sunday.

Leaners of able2achieve from Yeovil have come down to help set up the cafe ahead of its open day in Ottery on Sunday.

Archant

A new café and learning centre helping people with learning difficulties to gain work experience and life skills is inviting residents to drop in for refreshments at the weekend.

Leaners of able2achieve from Yeovil have come down to help set up the cafe ahead of its open day in Ottery on Sunday.Leaners of able2achieve from Yeovil have come down to help set up the cafe ahead of its open day in Ottery on Sunday.

The Silver Otter will not officially open until next year but is encouraging people to come through the door on Sunday between 10.30am and 2.30pm to meet members of the team.

The business has been set up by able2achieve, an enabling service that works with adults to gain confidence through a day provision scheme or work-based learning.

The charitable trust started six years ago, set up by founder and owner Rupert Elliott, and opened its first café, The Winking Frog in Yeovil.

It has spent the last year renovating the old Barclays bank on Silver Street to turn into the Silver Otter.

Caroline Packer, learning co-ordinator for Ottery able2achieve, said: “We work on self-confidence, preparing for work and learning life skills. We try to develop people individually to become part of the community which is extremely important.

“When someone has been given that extra bit of confidence, they are more likely to achieve. It is just a normal café, there is nothing different, we want to be very community based.”

When the café is up and running, customers will be able to enjoy drinks and light lunches as well as items to take away, prepared and served by the learners who will work in the kitchen, front of house and on the tills.

Caroline said they would be looking to take on three learners per day in the café and also one paid member of staff to assist with the front of house.

The building will also have day provision where members can work on arts and crafts in the messy room or working on computer skills in the IT suite. There will also be a communal area for learners to socialise.

Caroline also hopes residents and organisations can make use of the café’s large conference room to have meetings.

She added: “Our aim is to support people; it would be great if the café was profitable and we could put more money in the trust but at the end of the day that’s not the main priority.”

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