VALUES is opening a new sandwich shop in Leicester that will help people with learning disabilities to learn workplace skills and get real-life work experience.
The Sandwich Station is being officially opened by Jon Ashworth, Member of Parliament for Leicester South MP, on Friday 25 October. Jon said:
“This is a fantastic inclusive initiative by the VALUES project, and I truly hope it is a success. I encourage people to pop into VAL and support the Sandwich Station.”
The shop is run by the VALUES project, which has been helping people with learning disabilities in Leicester to have fun, learn new skills and make friends for over 20 years.
VALUES is a part of Voluntary Action LeicesterShire (VAL) and is based at VAL’s offices on Newarke Street, where a space at the front of the building has been converted into the sandwich shop.
VALUES clients will staff the shop with the supervision of their support workers, giving them the opportunity to interact with customers and learn customer service skills. Sandwiches will be made by the VALUES clients, which customers can buy as part of affordable meal deals with fruit, drinks, crisps and chocolate bars.
All proceeds from the shop will be reinvested into VAL to help them to continue changing lives for the better in local communities.
One of the project’s clients, Callum, is especially excited about working in the Sandwich Station. Callum has been going to VALUES for two years and is a regular in the singing, music and drama groups. Despite having recently been registered blind, Callum is particularly looking forward to using the shop’s touchscreen till system, which will be adapted for him to use when serving customers. Callum said:
“I’m excited to work in the shop. I want to learn to serve people and learn new skills. I’ve never had the chance to do anything like this before. It’s going to be good.”
Ben McKeown, VALUES Team Manager, said:
“The shop is going to be a new and exciting opportunity for people to learn new skills at VALUES. We really wanted to give them the chance to learn these skills while also being part of the wider community.
The training shop will be ideal for this as it will be a fully functional shop, serving the general public. With only 6% of adults with a learning disabilities in employment in England, the shop will highlight that it doesn’t matter if you have a disability you can still be a valuable part of the workforce.”
The Sandwich Station will open its doors to the general public at 12:30pm on Friday 25 October.