Corby company Emerald House Associates has helped support a new charity café project in Northamptonshire designed to help disabled adults.
Experts at Emerald House Associates (EHA) donated their services and skills to help kit out the Birch Tree Café, which will be staffed by young adults with Down’s Syndrome alongside volunteers and employed staff.
The new Northamptonshire café and community hub has been established by charity T-21 and aims to “create a place where young adults with Down’s Syndrome can work, socialise and be accepted as part of a vibrant village community”.
The Birch Tree Café is the long-held dream of retired teacher Maggie Scott along with her fellow trustees. The charity has raised money through fundraising efforts, grants and generous donations.
The Birch Tree Café, based in Easton on the Hill in Northamptonshire, will provide adults who have Down’s Syndrome the opportunity to work as volunteers in the café, which will also be a place for them to socialise as well as providing tasty treats for café customers.
Maggie, whose late brother Ian had Down’s Syndrome, is delighted the café project has been supported by many local people, volunteers and businesses, including Emerald House Associates who offered to provide their services free of charge.
Mick McNamara, owner and creative director of EHA, said:
“When we heard about the café we thought it would be nice for Emerald House Associates to get involved. I am in awe of everything T-21 are doing and very impressed with what they have achieved. EHA support various local charities and I think it is very important to help local good causes. This was a great opportunity to support something local in Northamptonshire and you can see the benefits it will bring.
“We donated our time, materials and skills to help them. Our team at EHA have produced the main counter and back counter at the café, we’ve provided seating and the graphics for their external and internal signage. We are supporting them as much as we can and we have made use of the extensive facilities we have on site to help them.”
Maggie’s husband Sandy Scott said:
“We hope lots of people will visit the café and help to support it. We really appreciate Emerald House Associates help, their commitment and the quality of their workmanship is reflected in everything they have provided.”
Maggie Scott said:
“Establishing the café is about providing quality of life and having a reason to get out of the bed in the morning and we all need that, regardless of whether we have a disability or not.
“I taught children who have Down ’s Syndrome in mainstream school before taking early retirement. I got in touch with our local Down’s Syndrome association and together we set up after school clubs, youth groups and different activities for our young people to make life more meaningful.
“We realised that after going to college and achieving qualifications there were no employment opportunities for our young adults and I thought the best thing was to make our own work opportunities for them, which is how the café came about. The café manager and assistant manager will be supporting our young people plus we will have lots of volunteers involved. Our young people are so excited about the cafe. They are so looking forward to being part of it and it will help enrich their lives.”
The newly opened café has its own garden plus rooms for speech therapy, occupational therapy and art activities. The venue will also stage social events and film evenings for disabled people and their families.
“What Emerald House Associates have done is phenomenal; it’s so generous of Mick and the team. He offered to help and what they have done is unbelievable, it’s so kind and above and beyond what we expected, the team are super!
“The Birch Tree Café is for everybody regardless of disabilities. We will train the young people who volunteer and they will be from Northamptonshire and the surrounding areas.”
Emerald House Associates specialist services include 3D design, large format printing, acrylic fabrication, 360 production and installation.
For more information about the Birch Tree Café go to http://www.t-21.co.uk/ to find out more about Emerald House Associates go to https://www.emeraldhouse.co.uk/