A NEW café will open in Cainscross, Stroud, this month offering job opportunities for people with disabilities.

The Fresh Ground Café will open on Friday, February 20 operated by Brandon Trust, a charity which supports adults and children with learning disabilities and autism.

The new venture, jointly funded by Brandon Trust and Gloucestershire County Council, will provide vital work experience for people with disabilities so they have better opportunities in getting paid employment in future.

The café, based on Westward Road, will be open from 10am until 4pm Tuesday to Friday offering hot and cold drinks and homemade sandwiches and cakes. A hot homemade meal of the day will also be available daily.

Those taking part are excited about the experience. Matt Owen, Cafe Assistant said: “This is a good opportunity for me to work towards gaining paid employment. It’s a great environment to meet new people and learn new skills.”

Tasha Dangerfield, Cafe Assistant said, “Great place for me to gain new skills. My favourite part of the job is serving tea and coffee.”

Alan Probert, Cafe Assistant added, “I enjoy using the coffee machine. I think it is a good community resource. When I heard about the cafe I registered my interest straight away.”

Six people will initially benefit from valuable work experience alongside two people who will undergo ‘work trials’ hopefully resulting in two six month paid positions at the end of the trials.

People working at the Fresh Ground Café will be learning food hygiene, cleaning, customer service and specialist barista training.

Cllr Kathy Williams, cabinet member for long term care at Gloucestershire County Council said: “We’re pleased to be working with the Brandon Trust on this project which will provide disabled people with the essential skills they need to gain meaningful employment.

“As a county council we support initiatives that promote employment as an option for disabled people and this is an excellent opportunity which will help those involved make a real contribution within their community.”

Gaby Oliva, Social Enterprise Development Assistant at Brandon Trust Enterprise added, “We’re really excited for our open day launch. We’ve invited a range of people living in the local area from care homes to playgroups. It’s half term so we hope we can provide something fun for everyone to make the most of their Friday!”