Our New Café Manager Stephen

I am originally from Dundee but have been working down south for the past 15 years. I’ve been back here now for the past 4 years. The last position I was working in was at The Deaf Hub as a Catering Manager, training and supporting people with employment challenges, and working along-side the deaf community.

I have been working in the third sector and with social enterprises for about 5 years now. I decided to get into charity work after I stopped working in busy restaurants, due to a family tragedy. I started volunteering with young people in the scouts, and then with people with disabilities with Mencap, which I really enjoyed, despite being out of my comfort zone.

I then had an opportunity to become a Café Manager with Papworth Trust in Cambridge, which was working with and training people with disabilities and vulnerabilities. I found this very rewarding although it was completely different from working in commercial restaurants. The experience and confidence these trainees gained whilst at the café was very apparent, not only skills in the job, but life skills for example, time keeping, personal development, communicating with others.

I would like to achieve the same results in the catering facilities at The Circle. The Circle Café is an Employability and Training programme for looked after young people and care leavers. The Circle joined forces with Barnardo’s WorksDundee City Council and Leisure and Culture Dundee to apply to the Community Lottery Fund for funding to start-up this innovative project. We aim to train young people struggling with employment, people with varying boundaries into employment. I’m excited to be able to train and develop people with all abilities and to give them a safe place to explore their skills and passions and how to use them in future employment.

We want to create a community space for all to enjoy, participate and help mould and nurture, we really want to make an impact in the community with this exciting project.

We have a completely new canvas and are looking for any companies, clubs or individuals that could support this project with any café equipment, services or advice and ideas.

I enjoy family life, with my young kids. I love to get out and about to the parks and local attractions in and around Dundee. I also enjoy the cinema when I can find time to go as that really is my escape and get away from reality for a bit. I also love eating out and cooking at home. I can do a little BSL and speak a little Russian and I’m starting to pick up all the Dundonian again.

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