Weston-super-Mare cafe opened by chef to help turn lives around

  • Published
Stables Cafe, Weston-super-Mare
Image caption,
The cafe is also a hub for start-up companies to network

A new volunteer-run cafe is aiming to help people who have overcome drug problems, homelessness and mental health issues get back to work.

The Stable Cafe offers people work experience to make it easier for them to find a job.

Chef Prayag Rajpura was inspired to open the cafe after working at a local rehab centre in Weston-super-Mare.

"I watched the struggle addicts face in recovery, not just during treatment but also afterwards," he said.

Image caption,
Prayag Rajpura was inspired to do more for people in recovery after working at a rehab centre

Volunteers work in the cafe's kitchen and also serve customers.

They are also provided with the equipment and practical help needed to gain NVQ qualifications in catering and other hospitality skills.

Graham Maguire, from the rehabilitation centre where Mr Rajpura worked, Sefton Park, has helped fund the venture.

"If someone comes with a void in their history or if someone is brutally honest about their past history which they have to be, then it's extremely difficult to get a job," he said.

"An interim job like this, which can be authenticated and referenced, could be the bridge that allows them to move on."

The cafe in Wadham Street, Weston-super-Mare, helps six people at a time.

Image caption,
Jay Adams said he hoped volunteering at the cafe would give him a "good reference"

Trainee Jay Adams said his long-term aim was to be a youth worker.

"Working here is filling a gap because I haven't worked for two years, and I've been applying for jobs for a long time now," he said.

"I apply for about 15 jobs a week and no-one has taken me in and no-one will have me, so hopefully helping out here is helping me get a good reference to show I can work."

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