Project information

Back to work

We support young people and adults with learning disabilities to develop their work skills and employability. We want to raise funds to open a community café promting healthy eating. We will use our own fresh, local produce grown by our trainees. We will use the profits to find apprenticeships

The projected start date is March 2017 and the project aims to be financially sustainable and continue in the long term.

Charity information: Sunnyside Rural Trust Limited

Sunnyside Rural Trust Limited
  • Need


    Only 4% of people with learning disabilities are currently in the workforce. This has a huge effect on the amount of benefits claimed, the amount of day service provision local authorities have to fund as well as a negative impact on individual's self esteem, independence, physical health and mental/ emotional wellbeing.
    We aim to support people to find out what they can do rather than focus on what they cannot do. We have a proven track record of supporting people through social enterprise.


    We will offer a range of skills training to support adults to develop a C.V. which is attractive to employers.
    We will open a café which will offer basic work skills training e.g. getting to work on time, uniform etc. through to training in food preparation, customer service, catering and menu planning.
    We will also use our existing social enterprises to support the café e.g. veg/fruit/herb/salad growing, farm shop, jam making, cake making to create a fresh and local menu

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To support young people and adults with learning disabilities to learn work skills


    » Offering on the job training and work experience

    What success will look like

    We will use our existing support plan to assess and monitor progress for each trainee. We will track progress and collect data e.g. number of people entering paid employment

    Aim 2

    To run a successful social enterprise offering a healthy and fresh menu to the community


    » We currently have funding to build the café and require the first year's salary for a café coordinator to get the café up and running.

    What success will look like

    We will collect feedback from customers and collate this data to assess the impact. We will record customer numbers. We will have accounts to demonstrate the profit and loss

  • Impact


    Improved physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of trainees.
    To create jobs
    To reduce the number of people on benefits and in day care
    To alter the public's perception of this group in a positive way
    To provide a healthy eatery to the local community
    To fund apprenticeships for people with learning disabilities


    Food waste and overheads could be a concern if we do not attract enough footfall to the café. We intend to mitigate this through offering an interesting menu and researching who will use the café.
    We have already completed research with our current farm shop customers.
    Salary costs could make the café's financial position weak. We will staff with a combination of paid staff and volunteers to keep costs to a minimum.


    We will collect quantitative data to measure customer numbers, paid work etc. We will also be able to report on the social impact measures through our support plan system e.g. how many people visited the G.P, benefit claims etc. We will also produce case studies to illustrate the impact.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £42,096

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      Amount Heading Description
      £33,976 staffing open 6 days a week including pension and national insurance contribution
      £3,120 volunteer expenses 2 volunteers a day at £5 per volunteer
      £5,000 marketing flyers, tasters and events for year 1 including an opening event

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Hertfordshire county council £30,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire population 138,000 the largest district in Hertfordshire. There are four wards in Dacorum that are in the 50% most deprived in the Country and one in the 30% most deprived. Life expectancy in 2013 was 8 years lower than national average. Only 4% of learning disability population in employment. The rates of heart disease, obesity , CPD, and smoking are all 3 times higher than the national average & in people with learning disabilities this is again tripled


    Primarily people with learning disabilities as the direct recipient of training.
    The local community in terms of benefiting from an affordable, fresh and local café within easy reach of transport.
    A range of volunteers will benefit from skills training and a route to employment.
    The local council will benefit from greater employment and a reduction in social care services needed.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have a proven track in the following:
    working with young people and adults with learning disabilities for over 25 years
    Running uccessful social enterprises ranging from farm shops, market stalls, growing Dacorum Borough Council's bedding plants contract (average 90,000 plants each year).
    We grow a lot of the produce required to supply a café
    We are a popular charity and social enterprise.
    We have a high footfall to the service already through the farm shop and garden centre on site

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Mark Quashie

    Site coordinator. Mark has a background of management and operating social enterprises including cafes. He will be responsible for the day to day

    Keely Siddiqui Charlick

    CEO of organisation and will provide the business framework for this project. Background in management and social enterprise.


A day's training for a young person with a learning disability to gain a step closer to work

Life is a lot better now I have a purpose

Roxanne, trainee