Fundraisers bring charity's new Fishponds cafe a step closer

May 05 2022
Fundraisers bring charity's new Fishponds cafe a step closer

A CHARITY working to open a cafe staffed by adults with learning disabilities is closer to its goal after a month of fundraising events.

PROPS, which is based at the Vassall Centre in Oldbury Court, provides skills training for more than 50 people, aiming to help them move into paid employment.

It is renovating number 769 Fishponds Road, by the Manor Road junction, to create a café and service hub to train and employ PROPS trainees.

A crowdfunding campaign launched in March raised more than £5,600 and the charity then called on supporters to 'run, walk or wheel 95 miles' during April, to reflect the 95% of adults with a learning disability who are not in paid employment.

Among the fundraisers was Emma Scott, who has raised over £240 for the appeal by cycling and walking more than 95 miles around East Bristol.

Emma said: “This is a problem close to my heart. My lovely niece has learning disabilities and will likely struggle to find work let alone have a career when she's older.

"I'd like to help her & others have better opportunities in the future."

Another fundraiser, Dan van Luttmer, took part in the appeal as part of his preparation for the PROPS Bristol to Bordeaux cycle challenge in July, when he Dan will join 70 other riders and PROPS trainees to cycle 500 miles in four days. Dan has already raised nearly £500 for PROPS through the appeal and his Bristol 2 Bordeaux fundraiser.

Fundraisers have been given t-shirts made by PROPS trainees in Bristol, and those who raise more than £150 will receive their first coffee free when the PROPS 769 Café opens.

The charity aims to turn the ground floor into a fully accessible café offering drinks, food and products handmade and sold by trainees, with the first floor housing a meeting and gathering space available for workshops and meetings. 

The cafe is not the only venture PROPS is involved with to create jobs for its trainees.

The charity has recently taken over the cafe at the Vassall Centre, and has also taken on the former Tapestry Brewery in Totterdown to make craft beer and run the Taproom bar.

PROPS originally teamed up with the breweries former owners last year and, after the pandemic saw the original business go into liquidation, the charity has stepped in to take it over, with the aim of "ultimately establishing a profitable enterprise that can provide real, meaningful work opportunities for PROPS Trainees in the future".  

To support any of the PROPS fundraisers, visit propsbristol.org/fundraisers online.

More information about the cafe can be found at propsbristol.org/news/project-769-launch.

Picture: Props trainees made t-shirts for the fundraisers