InCafe, opened to the public in early February 2016, is being run by pupils and staff at Inscape House School in Cheadle. The school, for young people aged 4 to 18 years with autism spectrum conditions, helps students develop skills in catering, customer service and hospitality.
Only 15% of autistic adults in the UK are in full-time paid employment, but research shows that 79% of people with autism on out of work benefits want to work.
Supported by local businesses, the enterprise aims to give first-hand work experience to pupils in a real cafe. Many students have developed the necessary skills to work independently in the cafe, with thirteen pupils having passed the Level 1 Food Hygiene Certificate.
The school is run by Cheadle-based charity, Together Trust, which believes that everyone deserves an equal chance in life and through supporting young people and adults with behavioural problems, learning difficulties, physical disabilities and autism spectrum conditions they help to achieve just that.
Anne Price, Head Teacher at Inscape House School, said, “Our pupils with autism spectrum conditions have some very valuable skills which can be applied in the workplace.
“Many of our students have associated difficulties to do with learning and behaviour, stemming from significant communication difficulties and sensory needs. However the flip side to those difficulties is that in the right environment those difficulties can become strengths, such as routine and maintaining processes.
“80% of our pupils have the ability to gain paid employment and this is what they aspire to. We aim to offer our pupils the learning opportunities to achieve their goals.”
17-year-old Katie has been at Inscape House School since she was six and working in the cafe has really helped her confidence and has provided her with the experience she needs to work in hospitality.
Katie said, “My favourite days are working in the cafe. I like to be busy and wait tables.”
Anne added, “Katie is always coming up with new ideas and along with her work experience in Stockport College cafe we are helping her to prepare for life after Inscape, by giving her the best chance of getting a job in an area that Katie loves!”
The cafe is initially open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 10.30am – 1.30pm at the Together Trust Central Office site on Schools Hill, Cheadle, SK8 1JE. Booking is recommended by calling 0161 283 4750. The cafe can be opened for events, meetings and training on Thursdays and Fridays.
For more information on Inscape House School visit www.togethertrust.org.uk.
We haven’t been to the café yet, but it’s definitely on our list for when we are in or near Cheadle. Let us know if you have visited the cafe and would like to write about it.