PROPS Café, a space for EVERYONE in our community In the UK, 95% of adults with learning disabilities have little or no access to paid employment. Our mission at PROPS is to change this, empowering adults with learning disabilities to achieve their full potential in our community. We help our Trainees gain work skills and put them into practice through worthwhile, accessible work-based experiences and meaningful employment opportunities. Our latest venture is Project 769 – a Café, exhibition and meeting space offering drinks, food and products handmade and sold by trainees. We’ve taken on a vacant retail space on Fishponds Road and are drawing up our renovation plans to create a space that serves and celebrates the diverse needs and perspectives of EVERYONE in the community, especially those too often excluded from accessing public spaces. Our Head of Operations, Lara explains our hopes: “Project 769 will create truly meaningful opportunities for transferable workplace training and routes to employment that our Trainees otherwise have so many barriers to. From cooking, customer service and barista skills to printing, clothes creation, admin and more, this project will help break down those barriers in a very real way – 6 days a week! As the face of our high streets is changing, we want to provide an inspiring model for other charities and retailers of how high street spaces can evolve to become accessible, inclusive social and creative hubs within the local community.” We’re partnering with local roasters, Blind Owl Coffee, to source delicious coffee as well as offer bespoke barista training to support PROPS Trainees to work in the café. Meanwhile, Trainees in our catering project have been preparing recipes and training for months to deliver delicious baked goods. The space will also showcase handmade products crafted by Trainees, host regular exhibitions from our other projects and enterprises as well as offer alteration services for people with disabilities. On the second floor, we’ve got a meeting and gathering space which will be available for workshops and groups to come together, share ideas, knowledge and create a shared vision for the future of our communities. For us, the PROPS Café won’t just provide meaningful routes to paid employment for Trainees, more importantly, the enterprise aims to change how people see learning disabilities, to learn from and engage with Trainees in a supportive space. We hope to champion and celebrate the unique value and perspectives that adults with learning disabilities offer to the world and workplaces. You can help break barriers and build opportunities from the ground up These are ambitious plans for this small charity, renovating a two storey building with accessibility designed into its heart is no mean feat! To make this dream a reality, PROPS are asking for a little help from local friends and partners. There are 3 main ways to get involved: Donate or share the Crowdfunder campaign, launching 1 March 2022 where we hope to start raising funds for the renovation. Builders, trades, contractors and craftspeople who can share a little time, materials or expertise to help realise the physcial construction of this dream, please email [email protected] Join the fundraiser and run, walk or wheel 95 miles throughout April in support of the 95% of adults with learning disabilities this project aims to help. However you can help, through fundraising events, donations or rallying support as far and wide as you can, every £ will go towards helping build a lifechanging site brick - by - brick that will see thousands of customers enter it in the years to come! In the meantime, stay tuned on PROPS Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for updates and of course invites to the grand opening!