Café Inspire based at Voreda House in Penrith is holding a celebration event to mark 10 years of successful work as they move onto their next venture later this week.
The Café was set up in 2010 by 4 Eden (formerly Eden Mencap) to provide café and catering facilities for North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (formerly Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust). The café provides invaluable work experience for students from 4 Eden often preparing them for future employment opportunities.
During that time, the café has won a number of awards for its work in providing work experience for students which is valued and loved by staff and visitors who have used it over the years.
Jacqui Taylor, Chief Officer at 4 Eden said: “The cafe students have gained a wide variety of experiences, built up skills, grown in confidence and several are preparing for employment.
“Cafe Inspire has been the catalyst, inspiring, enabling and training independence skills that have grown and developed over the years. The students now move on to further develop in a new challenging environment.”
Student David has worked at Café Inspire since 2015 he said: “I learned to work on the till, serve customers, make drinks and cook all the food. After being a trainee and learning so much, now I can help other people learn. I always let people know when they are not doing it right!
“I am comfortable at Café Inspire and know all the customers. I ask everyone about their cats, dogs, kids and partners. I remember the stories everyone tells me and think I am so good with the customers because I am interested in them. I will miss Café Inspire but I will still see everyone and I will remember to ask how everyone is doing.
“I invite you all to come see me at Bake4Eden where I will be getting to know new customers and of course, I will remember you.”
The event is taking place on Friday 13th December and colleagues past and present have been invited along to the celebrations. Following the event the café will then close its doors for business and move onto its next chapter of work at a new bakery. Bake4Eden in Penrith.
Daniel Scheffer, Company Secretary at NCIC said: “I’ve often said that Cafe Inspire is the best thing about Voreda House. It reminds us all as members of staff why we work for the NHS in serving others. Watching the staff grow in confidence has been great. Getting to know them individually has been a privilege. And they know exactly what my favourite takeaway is (a scone)!
“I’d like to thank each and every one of the staff who have put time in at the Café over the year, it has been great meeting you and chatting to you. I would like to wish you really well for the future – keep up the amazing customer skills!”
Case studies from other Café Inspire students:
“I looked for a job and I found Café Inspire in 2011. It was the first place I worked that I really felt I was needed.
“I learned how to cook, clean, wash dishes, use the coffee machine, serve customers, bake, use a mixer, make soup, work on the till and have great customer service.
“It has made me more confident in life. I no longer fear talking to customers and I support other people to work in the café.
“In 8 years, I have gone from a student and trainee to working behind the till and in the bakery as a valued team member. The others joke and call me boss!”
Stephen B story
“In 2017, I wanted a job learning about food. I went to Café Inspire. My mum likes to cook and bake and I wanted to learn to do all that too. I moved into my own place in August 2017 and I needed a job that would help me learn to cook, clean and be confident.
“Since working at Café Inspire, I have learned to work the coffee machine and I cook and bake and I clean and wash dishes. My favourite job is serving customers.
“I’m excited to move on, but sad to say good-bye to customers who I’ve got to know. I will meet new people and learn more at my new workplace.”
Stephen C story
“I started in 2016 and I’ve learned to clean tables, to serve customers and to work on the till.
“I had been to college and I worked in cafes there. I like café work and I wanted to get better and improve my skills, so I came to Café Inspire as a trainee.
“I worked to get good at all the jobs. I am the best dishwasher. I feel happy when I come to work. It gives me a reason to get excited about my day.”