Quarryfields awarded for The Platform

Service users from specialist care home Quarryfields, in Doncaster have enjoyed a special night to celebrate their achievements of creating and running a pop-up coffee shop over the past three months.

The night, held at Woodfield Road Community Club, invited service users from Quarryfields, friends and family and Exemplar staff.

Set up during the summer by the service users, The Platform is a unique pop-up project that has seen service users create a brand new coffee shop, help choose the interior, complete barista training and work in the shop.

Quarryfields, purchased the former sandwich shop and the team set about transforming it inside and out.

As well as enjoying a disco, food and drink, those who have taken part in The Platform project, were awarded for their hard work, dedication and commitment to the success of the coffee shop.

Service users awarded for their outstanding commitment go to Mark who scooped first place, Michael in second and Cassandra in third place. Special thanks were also given to Daljit, Zac, Elaine, Rebecca and Keith for their hard work and dedication.

Resident Mark, who won first place for his hard work, said: “I feel proud of myself. Now I’m moving into my own maisonette in Doncaster but I’ll still be volunteering Tuesday and Thursday mornings”

Exemplar handed The Platform £500 to help them to start the project, which has now successfully been paid back thanks to the hard work of the residents at Quarryfields.

Heather Johnson, Education Facilitator at Quarryfields and The Platform lead, said: it’s a pleasure to get together and reward everyone for their great work on the first pop up shop. Staff, family members and other service users voted on the volunteer’s skills in customer service, reliability, commitment, timekeeping and baking skills.

“Having a job to go to each day – somewhere they can excel and feel valued – has improved the wellbeing of service users.

“The positive change in some of our residents has been incredible – people who couldn’t hold conversations before can now chat confidently. It’s been an amazing 12 weeks and I’m looking forward to the next 12!”

Amanda Lighton, Director of referrals and business development, handed prizes to the winners on the night and said: “The Platform is teaching real skills to service users who can go on to paid positions or volunteering opportunities in Doncaster and further afield.

The Platform will now become an arts and crafts shop and invites the public to come and make and buy crafts themselves, at the same time as enjoying a coffee and a sweet treat.

Amanda added: “Congratulations to everyone involved in The Platform and I look forward to seeing the new arts and crafts shop!”