CELEBRATIONS were held at the reopening of The Salvation Army’s Tearoom at its Hadleigh Farm Estate.
During the opening ceremony a ribbon was cut, followed by speeches from Major Howard Russell, leader of The Salvation Army’ East of England division.
Forced to close in early 2020 due to the Covid pandemic and used as a food distribution hub for the community, the café’s welcome reopening was an opportunity to change the Tearoom model and put the cafe’s trainees, who are adults with additional needs, at the forefront of the operation.
The trainees devised a new menu, as well as choosing new uniforms, a new coffee machine, new décor, and gaining a five-star hygiene rating for the premises.
Hadleigh Training Centre manager, Lindsay Payne said: “The trainees don’t just have a token role in the new Tearoom, they play a part in all necessary tasks. Stock checking, ordering supplies, preparing and serving food and drinks, managing the online booking system and performing back of house duties.
“They now have the experience to serve in a true hospitality environment and they are excelling at it.”
Ms Payne said the project is carrying on the ethos of The Salvation Army to help, train and educate individuals who have experienced difficult times.
She added: “We wanted to give trainees the satisfaction of ownership in terms of responsibility and the tasks they carry out. They are thriving in this environment, and we are seeing immense development in their confidence, problem solving and sense of self-worth.
“They want everyone to see ‘their’ Tearoom, showing off their skills and serving customers. We are so proud of them and everything they have achieved.”
Major Howard said: “It’s a joy to open the Tearoom. Everything the trainees have done to get here is amazing. I’m proud of all they achieved.”
The Tearoom is now be open to the public from 11am to 2pm on Mondays and Fridays.
There are plans to extend the opening hours to include Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in the near future.
Online booking is required. Visit: salvationarmy.org.uk/hadleighfarm/tearoom.
Picture: The launch ceremony for the Tearoom the Hadleigh Farm Estate. Pic: Kevin Clow
Contact us. Email: [email protected]