Oxfordshire Charity Yellow Submarine Celebrates 10 Life Changing Years

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Yellow Submarine celebrates 10 years of life changing work with celebrations at Blenheim Palace, and shares how you can get involved with it’s next fundraising event, ‘Walk the Walk‘. >>

Yellow Submarine

Oxfordshire charity Yellow Submarine celebrated 10 Life Changing years of their social enterprise café and training programmes with a Café Awards at Blenheim Palace at the end of April. The event brought together the charity’s trainees with learning disabilities and autism, past and present, as well as supporters, donors and staff.

Yellow Submarine

On Sunday 23 April over 140 people gathered in Clementine’s on the Lawn, Blenheim Palace’s bespoke glass structure, to celebrate 10 life changing years of Yellow Submarine’s social enterprise cafés. Yellow Submarine believes people with learning disabilities and autism deserve to live life to the full. In 2013 they opened a café in Oxford as they realised the young adults they supported had no obvious next steps after education. For the past decade they have been providing ambitious and dynamic training with real life work experience where trainees receive supportive, individualised training with a focus on increasing life skills, confidence and independence. The Yellow Submarine traineeship is perfect for those who are ready to think about transitioning from education to employment. The traineeship lasts 18 months after which the Work Experience Managers at Yellow Submarine continue to support trainees into their next steps beyond Yellow Submarine.

Toby Staveley, Founder and Chair of Trustees, shared “I don’t think any of us could have predicted just how successful the cafes would be and just how many lives they would touch. They have provided transformative training that has allowed our trainees to pursue meaningful roles in either paid employment or regular volunteering.”

Yellow Submarine

Over the course of the evening Clementine’s on the Lawn was busy with graduated trainees reuniting with their peers, funders meeting those who had benefitted from their support and the Awards presentation itself. Yellow Submarine staff presented awards to 13 trainees for achievements they had accomplished across their time on the programme. The personal connection between trainee and staff was evident in the awards ceremony with the sharing of personal stories which were met with cheers from attendees. The Café Awards are an annual event for the charity and have become the highlight of the year for trainees who get to celebrate the skills, confidence and independence they have gained since starting their training. The evening concluded with a disco and cutting of the cake, which in itself was a celebration of the cafés – resembling a Yellow Submarine and surrounded by figures of trainees.

Yellow Submarine

Sophie Bradley, Enterprise Development Manager, joined the charity during the first few months of the cafés being open. During the evening she looked back on the cafés growth saying “10 years ago I joined Yellow Submarine’s new social enterprise café and instantly fell in love. It was exciting, innovative, welcoming and accessible at the same time as providing opportunities that nobody else was. 10 years later one small café has turned into two award winning cafés where we produce all our own bakes and even have an online offer. People visits us because we serve tasty bakes and brilliant coffee but they return because we offer so much more! We have supported over 50 trainees and bring disability into visibility, showing the Oxfordshire community people with a learning disability and autism are a valuable part of the work force.”

Yellow Submarine

If you would like to support Yellow Submarine you can visit their Life Changing Cafés in Oxford and Witney for a coffee and find out more about the support they offer individuals with learning disabilities and autism.

They are also holding a second event at Blenheim Palace, “Walk the Walk” on Saturday 20th May, which will see trainees, supporters and the wider community come together to celebrate 10 Life Changing years by walking 5 miles! Book in advance, parking is free and people can choose to opt for a picnic ticket which means the YS team will supply you with a picnic bag from the Yellow Submarine cafes!

Oxford: 12 Park End Street, OX1 1HH
Witney: Windrush Leisure Centre, OX28 4YA

Yellow Submarine
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