Mark’s incredible journey thanks to Quarryfields ‘The Platform’ project

When Mark moved to Exemplar’s Quarryfields care home in 2015 he was reserved, spoke very little and spent most of his time on his own.

Now, three years later, thanks to the expert care and support at Quarryfields and his involvement in the home’s education project, ‘The Platform’, a unique pop-up shop, Mark has moved to his own flat – a goal he had at the beginning of his care.

Even though he has now moved into his own accommodation, Mark has committed to working as a volunteer at the ‘The Platform’ twice a week.

Mark, lives with a mild to moderate learning disability and originally moved to Quarryfields for short-term respite care, however after further assessment it was more suitable that Mark would need a more long-term, 24-hour care plan.

As well as receiving high quality care at Quarryfields, over the last six months Mark has been involved in ‘The Platform’ – a project that has seen service users work with Education Facilitator, Heather Johnson to create their very own pop-up coffee shop.

Since the beginning of the project, Mark has been involved in picking the shop’s interior, the recipes for the cakes and sweet treats as well as taking part in professional barista training.

Since the opening of the shop in April this year, Mark has shown an incredible amount of commitment to The Platform – including getting up extra early to start baking for customers, keeping on top of the cleaning and excelling in customer service.

Mark said: “When I first moved to Quarryfields I just wanted to be on my own and I didn’t want to be involved in anything.

“Now I feel better about living on my own and I’m glad I can still volunteer at The Platform every week.

“I really enjoy baking and I liked doing the coffee making training. It’s good that I’ve got my own flat now and I was ready to do it in my own time.

“Heather and everyone at Quarryfields have helped me be involved in the coffee shop so I’m happy I can still visit them and volunteer.”

Quarryfields also held a special awards ceremony to honour service users who have been involved in The Platform. Mark scooped first place and the award marked his impressive commitment, going above and beyond and his enthusiasm to get involved.

On receiving the award, Mark said: “I can’t believe it! I didn’t think I would win anything. I love the coffee shop and being involved. I got £25 for winning – but I’m going to save it to get something for my new flat.”

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