The Platform wins Disability Champion 2020 award at The Pride of Balby 2020

6 January 2021

Volunteers from The Platform winning an award

The Platform, a resident-run café at our Quarryfields care home in Doncaster, has won a prestigious local award for its contribution to improving the lives of people with a disability.

The Platform, a pop-up coffee shop attached to our Quarryfields home in Doncaster, has been exclusively run by volunteers from the care home for the past two and a half years. The coffee shop has been recognised as “Disability Champion 2020” due to its strong presence in the local community.

The residents, with a little help from staff, have taken a run-down little shop, and turned it into a successful enterprise after Exemplar Health Care purchased the building a few years ago.

Quarryfields care home supports young adults living with a learning disability, autism and/or complex mental health needs, and working at The Platform gives them the opportunity to develop their everyday living skills and gain valuable work experience.

Residents from the home volunteer at The Platform and are involved in all aspects of running the café, including baking, serving, managing money, cleaning and planning activities.

Over the past two years, The Platform has hosted pop-ups around a range of themes including Halloween and Christmas, as well as offering drinks, cakes and snacks to the public every day.

During lockdown, The Platform has been unable to open to the public, however it has still played an important part in the resident’s lives - the team of volunteers have been taking it in turns to use the kitchen in the cafe to prepare meals for other residents and colleagues.

The space has also been used for educational groups and activities, including reading and gardening groups, which provide further opportunities for engagement and learning.

The Pride of Balby Awards

Following its success, the team at The Platform are delighted to have won the Disability Champion 2020 award at this year’s The Pride of Balby Awards.

The Pride of Balby Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of volunteers in the local community, and those who go above and beyond to support others.

As well as providing invaluable opportunities for the young adults living at Quarryfields, the team at The Platform has also been involved with local council and community projects such as clean our street and feed the hungry.

The volunteers were very excited and proud to receive this award. Tracy Smith, Occupational Therapist at Quarryfields shared:

“The volunteers have worked so hard to ensure that any potential barriers or myths around people with a disability are removed. The team, with the help of Exemplar Health Care, has taken a rundown little shop and turned it into a successful little enterprise, which shows that anything is possible. 

“Even though The Platform hasn't been open to the public for the majority of this year, it has provided our service users with somewhere to go during lockdown.

“They have helped to make meals for other service users and colleagues during lockdown, planted vegetables to use in the cooking, and started a book group to maintain social activities. This has ensured that they can continue in their role and given them purpose, in what’s been a challenging year.”

About Quarryfields complex needs care home in Doncaster

Located on Woodfield Road in Balby, Doncaster, Quarryfields supports adults who are living with a learning disability, autism and/or complex mental health needs.

The home has two 10-bed units which promote small group living, as well as several OneCare flats, which offer 24/7 nursing care in an independent living environment.

Read more about Quarryfields.

About Exemplar Health Care

Exemplar Health Care is a leading provider of specialist nursing care for adults living with a range of complex and high acuity needs.

We have 32 community-based homes which provide person-centred support and rehabilitation that’s focused on building everyday life skills, maximising independence and empowering people to live as fulfilled lives as possible.

Find your local Exemplar Health Care home, or make a referral.