A Manchester cafe is celebrating a national award win after being crowned Local Food Hero at the Observer Food Monthly Awards.
The Edge, a unique arts space in Chorlton, has scooped the award for its café, The Dressing Room, which provides training to adults with learning disabilities. Each year 24 adults with learning disabilities are given 12-week placements to develop skills within the working environment.
Trainees receive one-to-one training plans and are supported to be involved in all areas of the café’s operation – from providing a warm welcome and serving customers to preparing food and drinks.
The Dressing Room café opened in 2015 and, in addition to its award-winning training programme in hospitality for adults with learning disabilities, is considered a hidden gem in Chorlton for its tea and cake, lunch and pre-show meals.
The Edge is Manchester’s award-winning theatre for participation. Founded in 2011 by Janine Waters, Dom and Simon Waters, it provides opportunities for people who are homeless, vulnerable adults and young people to take part in theatre.
Observer Food Monthly Awards are presented to people or organisations that have made a huge difference in the food industry in communities across the UK.
“We’re immensely proud of The Dressing Room and all the trainees that come to us to develop skills in our café, which is a busy and important part of our theatre space,” said Janine Waters.
“For our project to win an award that, in our eyes, is one of the highest accolades in the food industry, is a huge honour and testament to our wonderful staff, partners and, of course, trainees.”