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Park Café - The Story So Far

Park Café - The Story So Far

Park Café Project Launch

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Park Café Opening Day

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Park Café's Credit Crunch Christmas Fair 2009

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The Park Café Harvest Festival 2010

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What Jenny Did Next

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What Vicky Did Next

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Park Café Project Launch


Caroline Langton - Trainee

I’ve been washing up and tidying, I’ve been straightening things up. 

So you’ve been keeping really, really busy then. How do you feel about the Café now it’s looking very finished?

It’s really good. At the beginning it was awful it was all mess and all that but now it’s really good. I want to get a job at the end of it that’s what I want.

That’s brilliant can you balance a tray on one hand?


Alan Whitehead – Trainee

We’ve been doing fruit kebabs yeah.

Fantastic, what goes in a fruit kebab?

Strawberry, kiwi, grapes, blueberry and kiwi and melon.

Vicky Austin – Trainee

I think we’re having really good fun today and celebrating. Me I’m doing serving and give the food out and giving the sweets out. I’ve got lots of friends in this café.

Fantastic and how does it feel to be working in a team?

In a team it’s been a brilliant idea working in our café.

Paul Tibbet - Trainee

Hi Paul how are you doing?

Not bad. 

What are you doing today?

Helping out and meeting the guests as they’re are coming in. 

Oh are you? How many are you expecting today?

One hundred and twenty-seven guests coming.

Hundred and twenty-seven - do you think they’ll all fit in here?

Think so it’s big enough.

You see that big cupcake over there, is that for me?

No it’s not it’s for me.


Adrian Pallett - Trainee

It’s a launch for the café

Fantastic who’s coming?

A load of people.

Fantastic - anybody important?

The Mayor.

Yeah the Mayor.


What do you think he’s going to have from the menu?

I don’t know.

Are you going to tell the Mayor what really goes into the food?



The Mayor – Councillor John B Sullivan JP

It really is lovely to see so many of you here today to celebrate the launch of this fantastic new facility. I’m extremely proud and privileged to have been asked to be involved in this opening ceremony and I’m delighted to lend my support. And now you’ll be glad to hear as I bring my speech to a close all that remains for me is to wish the Park Café well and to offer the staff and trainees my very best wishes for every happiness and success. You absolutely deserve it, thank you.


James Purnell – MP

It’s a real pleasure to be here and I really just want to say two things. I think the first thing is this is genuinely a ground breaking project, this is as good a project as you’ll find of this kind anywhere in the country and you know I was, until recently, the Minister for Work and for Disabled people and this is the very of kind of thing which we were trying to encourage and it’s the very kind of thing we’re trying to encourage for a very simple reason which is everybody deserves a chance in life and everybody deserves to be able to get the fulfilment from going out to work that many people in this room enjoy and work is really important not just because obviously it helps to give us pay and everything that comes from that but I think it’s much more important in a wider sense it’s where we make our friends, it’s where we get our fulfilment, it’s where we get a sense of purpose and what I learnt over the last eighteen months is the absolute passion that people have for wanting to go out to work and for getting skills and getting the recognition that comes from that.

I’d like to conclude by therefore asking you to put your hands together for Alison and for all of her colleagues but also for the families of everybody in this room who also put in a huge amount of work for everybody who’s been associated with it it’s going to be a wonderful project and I wish it all the very, very best. Thank you very much.


Vicky Austin – Trainee

Welcome to the launch of the Park Café. It is lovely to see so many friendly faces here today.

Paul Tibbett – Trainee

Today, the launch party is the light at the end of the tunnel for me and hard work, effort, passion that the team has shown me is brill. This team is truly dedicated. My dream job is to be a Sous Chef and I hope to get a certificate for the future. On my behalf I want to thank the trainees of the Park Café and thank you all for coming and I will look forward to seeing you as paying customers in the future.

Laughter and Applause

Alison Shockledge – Project Co-ordinator

The parents and carers also deserve a big clap today for everything that they’ve done towards the project. All my speech was just about saying thank you and I just hope you all have a great time. Thank you.


Cllr Brenda Warrington

It goes without saying that this launch today actually represents almost, almost the end of what’s been quite a long journey for people that have been involved, Alison and the whole team. This is particularly true for some of the trainees who’ve already come a very, very long way and I’d like you just to meet Caroline and Jenny. Now Caroline when she first joined the project you’d never believe this actually, but Caroline travelled by private hire taxi because people were concerned that she wouldn’t be able to manage the journey on her own. Well I’m really pleased to be told today that Caroline manages the journey extremely well. Since moving into the Bayley Hall project, Caroline has undertaken a successful travel programme and that’s been in partnership with the Route to Work Team hasn’t it Caroline, and of course Jenny has had the support and encouragement from everyone involved in the project just like all of the trainees and I think Jenny’s testament, she’s blossomed into a very mature, very confident, very, very successful young woman young trainee.


Park Café Opening Day

Gordon Burns

It takes nerve to open any new venture at the moment but one group in Hyde remains undaunted. They are breathing new life into the town’s park creating their own café. It’s a unique project bringing together the talents of eleven people with learning disabilities who are hoping it will lead them to finding full-time work.


Rita Walker, Trainee

It’s the Park Café Open Day today so we’re going to enjoy ourselves, enjoy everything what’s going on today.

And are you very, very excited

Yes we are

And how much money are you going to make today

Hopefully a lot of money


Steve Mycroft, Volunteer

I think it’s going really, really well. I think people are gaining some confidence now; a bit nervous at the beginning but I think they’re doing really, really well and taking control and making sure people are made welcome, they’re getting their orders right, clearing the tables afterwards so yeah I think it’s going really well.


It went okay actually.

Did it? Is everyone very positive, everyone saying good things?

Yeah they did yeah.

And how are you enjoying it?

I really love it here me

Do you? Do you not want to go?

No because I want to do the waitress better


I thought it was very nice; it’s very welcoming we enjoyed it. It’s very reasonable and I’m hoping there’ll be lots more people to come.


Not bad Michael thank you and you

Not bad thanks. Looking good, looking busy

Certainly am

That’s what we like isn’t it?

Certainly is.


Beautiful. We think it was needed.

Well we thought it was very good, all the staff were very friendly and it’s really lovely, it’s a much needed facility I think. You know they’ve needed a café here it’s really lovely. I hope that they succeed yes I do, yes I do really.

There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be a success.


Park Café's Credit Crunch Christmas Fair 2009

No text version available (Instrumental).

The Park Café Harvest Festival 2010


I am on the drinks and I’ve served seven customers.

And what is today?

It’s a Harvest Festival where everybody gets together and enjoys themselves.

Is everybody enjoying themselves now?

Of course they are and spending money

And if they’re not enjoying themselves what are you gonna do?

Kick ‘em all out (laughs)


Will you go away?


What Jenny Did Next

Jenny Threadgold, Trainee

Serving food, making drinks and cleaning tables. It’s nice working here. When you order you go up to the till, you don’t like order at the table like at the Park Café. Taking the pots to the kitchen; I forgot what you call it – pot wash that’s it (laughs). There’s Helen the Manager, she’s nice.

Helen, Manager – The Cherry Tree

I think where she was previously I think gave her some good foundations to start here and progress from there. We cater for probably far more people in-house here we seat fifty, fifty-two people so sometimes we can get quite busy, so she’s probably adapted quite well to the pressure element at times especially when we start a busy lunchtime period. I think she’s done really well, I think when she first started she lacked quite a bit of confidence but I think over the number of weeks that she’s been here you can see that she’s developed quite a lot and she gets on really well with the staff, she’s good with the customers, she doesn’t need to ask a great deal anymore so yeah she’s done really, really well, really pleased with her.

What Vicky Did Next


I did hairdressers to people very old people look after and you’ve got to be nice, looking after and talking about the soaps, whatever people said oh I love Vicky so much. And I’m passing the rollers and passed the perming, holding the towel at the back. Make sure people are beside the sink and make sure the people get the glasses off and make sure look after your purse as well and look after keys, money. Diane is a very nice lady, she’s beautiful and she’s my best friend working with me working in a team. I like her uniform and curl their hair. She’s the most beautiful lady I met.

Diane Hairdresser - Oakwood House

Sheila had a little word with me and suggested that they were going to bring Vicky in to come and help and give her some work experience and Vicky has been here now for about 8-9 weeks. I think initially she was only here for 6 weeks but she’s really enjoyed helping me out on a Wednesday morning, and I’ve enjoyed having Vicky here and it’s just worked really well. You know I asked if she could carry on when her placement was due to finish and Vicky wanted to, so that’s how I got to know Vicky.

The older people really like her because she’s bright and cheerful we have a little laugh and a giggle and it’s nice it breaks the day up for them. They’re really quite close to Vicky now, she’s got a very natural way of dealing with people she comes across really well, you know she’s been really good and it has prepared her yeah, she’s got a lovely manner and a lovely way about her. Initially she was going to help in the kitchen here and then I approached Sheila and I said I don’t mind if Vicky wants to come and help me if she’s going to help in the kitchen that’s fine but I said I think she would enjoy passing the rollers and helping me.


She wants me to stay on because I loved it here working here because I am enjoying it. In my future I want to work in old people’s homes looking after people that’s what I want to do. I would be I really loved it here.

Dianne Hairdresser Oakwood House

I think Vicky is a very good asset to the home, I think she brings a quality and she brightens the ladies’ days up, yeah as well as myself.