A brand new café which helps people with learning disabilities into employment has officially opened its doors today at the City of York Council’s new West Offices. Café West has been set up by national disability charity United Response and will be run and managed by staff with learning disabilities.

Café West aims to help individuals with learning disabilities find work through practical experience in catering and retail. The trainees will not only learn on the job but will also help steer the day-to-day running of the Café and its management.

The Leader of City of York Council, Councillor James Alexander was present at the launch to declare Café West officially open for business. The event was also attended by other prominent figures including The Lord Mayor of York and United Response co-founder and Chief Executive, Su Sayer CBE.

United Response, which supports people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and physical disabilities across England and Wales, hopes the Cafe will help trainees gain valuable experience and skills to help them pursue a career in catering or retail in the future.

Councillor James Alexander Said: “We have all been very excited about Café West ever since it was given the green light as our only on site café at our new West offices. I’ve been lucky enough to sample the delicious food on offer and talk to the trainees who are all eager to learn and gain some valuable skills.”

Su Sayer CBE added: “Café West will play a huge role in helping many people gain their first experience of a real work environment and to get a foot on the career ladder. We are really delighted that the City of York Council has given us this great opportunity and thank them wholeheartedly for their ongoing support.”

Cafe West builds on United Response’s successful track record at Krumbs Kitchen, formerly known as Krumbs Café, in Tanners Row, York. Krumbs was also created to provide training for people with learning disabilities. However, Café West will go one major step further in giving trainees the opportunity to practice their skills in a busy modern environment.

With the support of City of York Council, United Response hopes to create more employment opportunities for trainees and serve delicious food at the same time.