Earlier this year, we were approached by Furze Down School in Winslow, and asked if we would offer regular work experiences sessions to a group of their students. One of our regular customers, Thomas (aged 19) who attends the school has been coming to us every Saturday morning for cake. He enjoys his weekly visits so much, he would tell his teachers all about us. His school then contacted us to find out more about what we were doing for Thomas, and we agreed to provide work experience for some of their other students as well.
Since February, Thomas and a number of his friends from school spend a couple of hours with us every Thursday morning. The students have a range of special needs including autism, Down syndrome, speech and language difficulties and medical needs such as epilepsy, and they do a number of roles in the shop; taking sandwich orders in the café, operating the till, making up bags of sweets and helping with stock checks. One of the young ladies, Connie, 19, loves tidying, so after her shift, all our shelves are immaculate, with all the labels lined up and facing the right way – they look brilliant!