Cafe that offers paid employment to people with Down’s syndrome so they can work and learn social skills is praised as a ‘fabulous idea’ by This Morning viewersCafé 21 in Le set up to offer those with learning disabilities paid employment Brainchild of two parents who set up the charity Sunshine and Smiles Cafe was trialed for a week as a pop up before becoming permanent fixtureOne barista said he loves the social element of the job and has lots of friends
14:49 GMT, 12 February 2019
Cafe 21 in Le employs young people with Down’s syndrome to rustle up hot drinks for customers under supervision, in a bid to raise awareness and encourage more companies to hire and pay those with learning disabilities.
‘I like working here because I’ve got lots of friends. We make coffees, cappuccinos and hot chocolate as well,’ he said.
This Morning viewers were impressed by the idea and took to social media to share their views, with one tweeting: ‘Wonderful idea. My son has special ne and I feel somewhere like this would hugely benefit him.’
Cafe 21 was set up by charity Sunshine and Smiles to help give those with down’s syndrome the opportunity to be in paid employment. Francis Henry (left) loves being able to make friends with his job as a barista
This Morning viewers have gushed over the initiative on social media, with one hailing the idea as a ‘fabulous concept’
Another took to Twitter to share what a ‘wonderful’ idea Cafe 21 was in helping those with disabilities to gain confidence, make friends and learn other life skills
Another wrote: ‘#sunshineandsmiles @ITV #ThisMorning melting my heart. Those salted caramel brownies though #equalityanddiversity.’
It was set up by mothers Ailith Harley-Roberts and Lorna Gilbert as an initiative of their charity Sunshine and Smiles, and became a permanent fixture after a one week trial as a pop-up.
The cafe not only pays the workers, but also helps them to learn valuable life skills as they socialise with customers and other staff.
Ailith Harley-Roberts set up the organisation Sunshine and Smiles, which opened the cafe as a pop up in January
Sessional worker, Lorna Gilbert, says she hopes that in the future, similar initiatives will become the norm.
She said: ‘We wanted to offer work experience. We don’t want to be different.
‘Young people are getting paid for working here. We want to raise awareness for this not to be something out of the ordinary.’
Viewers were very impressed by the idea with one calling it a ‘such a fabulous concept’.
Another tweeted: ‘The cafe changing lives on This Morning its a great place helping these young people gain more confidence, to flourish and make new friends. Just wonderful. Great to see something positive on the TV.’
Jenn Evans assists at the Le cafe, and joins Lorna and Ailith in supervising their staff, especially as they handle hot drinks and machinery
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