Serv­ing great cup­pas – and the com­mu­nity

Char­ity launches em­ploy­a­bil­ity cafe

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Alexan­der Ballinger alexan­der.ballinger@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A ‘JOLLY’ good launch by Boris John­son MP helped a hilling­don char­ity open its new em­ploy­a­bil­ity cafe.

The Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for Uxbridge and South Ruis­lip Boris John­son praised the ser­vice at Hilling­don Autis­tic Care and Sup­port (HACS) which runs the cafe in Uxbridge to give work ex­pe­ri­ence, train­ing and skills to help peo­ple lead more in­de­pen­dent lives.

The For­eign Sec­re­tary of­fi­cially opened the project at the Brook­field Adult Learn­ing Cen­tre, joined by Hilling­don coun­cil­lors, the HACS team and peo­ple who work at the cafe.

For­mer Mayor of London Mr John­son said: “I know what a won­der­ful job HACS does and what a fan­tas­tic ser­vice this is for peo­ple who want to learn, to de­velop and have fun in all sorts of ways.”

“Is this a fan­tas­tic cafe?” Mr John­son asked the crowd, who re­sound­ingly an­swered with a cho­rus of “yes”.

“Yes it jolly well is,” Mr John­son said be­fore of­fi­cially open­ing the cafe.

HACS has a sim­i­lar cafe at the Ru­ral Ac­tiv­ity Gar­den Cen­tre in West Dray­ton called the Ru­ral Tea Room.

There are 22 peo­ple cur­rently par­tic­i­pat­ing in the cafe project and so far seven have gone on to find se­cured paid jobs.

HACS is now ex­tend­ing the ser­vice to 40 young adults thanks to fund­ing from Hilling­don Coun­cil and or­gan­is­ers are look­ing for lo­cal busi­nesses to of­fer work ex­pe­ri­ence op­por­tu­ni­ties to adults with autism.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of HACS An­toinette Mul­lally said: “Less than one in six autis­tic adults are in full-time em­ploy­ment, yet we know that peo­ple with autism want to work and con­trib­ute to so­ci­ety.

“We are work­ing to close the gap be­tween autism and em­ploy­ment and make em­ploy­ers aware of the valu­able skills peo­ple with autism can of­fer.”

Em­ploy­ers in­ter­ested in help­ing HACS can con­tact en­quiries@hacs. org.uk.

We are work­ing to close the gap be­tween autism and em­ploy­ment

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