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A café that only employs people with Down syndrome has opened in Headingley, Leeds.

A café that only employs people with Down syndrome has opened in Headingley, Leeds.

Café 21, which is operated by the charity Sunshine and Smiles, gives 14 young adults aged 18-24 the opportunity to work in the kitchen and front of house – all of whom are paid the National Living Wage (NLW).

It is hoped they will gain vital transferable skills to boost their future career prospects.

Ailith Harley-Roberts, Service Manager at the charity, said: “The young people here have thrived. Some of the staff want to be customer-facing, others love doing stock-taking or working in the back. There is so much involved, they are learning a lot about customer service.”

“I have spoken to one parent who said their son has been setting his alarm each morning and can’t wait to come into work. That is what it is all about.”

Roisin Prior is a member of staff at Cafe 21. She delivers food to customers, takes orders and washes up.

“Working here makes me feel fantastic,” she revealed “and it is such a nice team to work with.”

The launch of the cafe comes after national statistics revealed that only 17 per cent of all adults with a learning disability are in paid employment.

The project has been funded with help from The Seedbed Trust and The Wesleyan Foundation, while Sunshine and Smiles is a charity that helps children and young people across Leeds by providing speech and language therapy, regular groups and activities, individual support and advocacy for families.


Leymar Healthcare provide Homecare Services in Ashfield and 24 Hour Live in Care in the UK to vulnerable adults in their community. Please contact our office on 01623 360 193 or email us at info@leymarltd.co.uk.

Alternatively, you can use our Contact Form on our website:- www.leymarhealthcare.co.uk/contact us/


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