SOCIAL enterprise charity Team Domenica is to open its second café in Brighton with the aim of providing more opportunities for young people with learning disabilities to find work.

The Brighton-based charity, which specialises in helping young people with learning disabilities into work, is to open its second training café in the city, Café Domenica, on Monday in Hove Library.

Executive director Jo Cook said: “Coming just two years after Team Domenica’s first café opened in the city, and 12 months after our move to Preston Circus, the new café in Hove Library is the result of the hard work of all our candidates, staff, volunteers and trustees.

“Candidates working in our cafés have the chance to develop new skills, including communication and customer service, while also building their confidence and gaining practical work experience in a real work environment.

“Not only is this valuable to them but also to the public and community who gain real value by interacting with people with learning disabilities.”

The new café at Hove Library will be open Monday to Saturday from 10am until 5pm and will be staffed by Team Domenica’s candidates.

Team Domenica’s arrival heralds a new start for the building with city council investment and planning securing the future of the library for years to come.

Councillor Emma Daniel, chairwoman of the council’s neighbourhoods, inclusion, communities and equalities committee, said: “The council is delighted to have Team Domenica moving into Hove Library.

“Not only will the team be delivering great food, they will be providing young people with learning difficulties the chance to develop both work and life skills.

“People who visit the café will know they are contributing to Team Domenica’s philosophy of helping young people while being part of the library’s future.”

The design and construction of the new café has been made possible thanks to the support of Chalk Architecture, construction company Labcast Ltd, and artist “Dave Pop, who was responsible for the distinctive flamingo artwork in the cafe.

Team Domenica founder and chairman Rosa Monckton said: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to open a Café Domenica in Hove Library.

“It is both a wonderful opportunity for our candidates to practice their professional and social skills, and also important for Team Domenica to be able to provide such a useful service to the community, which has been so welcoming to us all.

“The work that we do is life changing.

“We are giving hope where previously there was none, giving young adults with learning disabilities a sense of self-worth, and – often for the very first time – a sense of achievement and belonging.

“Team Domenica’s mission is to help people with learning disabilities discover their career potential, to create employment opportunities, and to remove barriers to work in local communities.

“We are pioneering a new approach that leads to real change in the lives of people with learning disabilities and the way they are perceived by employers and society as a whole.

“Based in central Brighton, we operate through a unique three-tier set-up of training centre, training café (Café Domenica) and employment centre.

“Through this, we provide new and innovative employment programmes to young adults with a wide range of ability, referred to as our ‘candidates’ to more accurately reflect and emphasise their role as people ready for employment.”

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