VICAR Water Country Park with its spectacular views and wildlife has long been a hidden gem but it hides an even greater secret among its green areas.
Rumbles Catering Project is a community cafe designed to educate and train disadvantaged young people and adults and enable them to get valuable work experience and promote independent living.
The young trainees, aged 16 upwards, offer a wide ranging menu and if you fancy a drink you can even bring your own wine or beer.
But like many other organisations the cafe has fallen on hard times of late after losing government funding and staff are keen to introduce an apprenticeship scheme so its trainees can be paid while improving their skills.
Kate Roberts, training coordinator at the project, said because they worked specifically with young adults with disabilities the staff were well practised and good at what they do. “Because of their age we do not get funding and I do not know what they would do or where they would go,” she said.
Kate added: “The reason they come to us is they do not like the alternatives. They do not like to go to college because they get lost in a big environment. Our staff ratio here is high.”
Rumbles operates over two other sites at Sutton Lawn and in Newark. There are 23 paid staff over the three sites who run the project with the help of the trainee volunteers.
Jade Hagan (18) works at the project serving customers and taking orders. She came to Rumbles after leaving school at 16. Said Jade: “I have got more confidence here than I had at college. I get on with the public and I am not shy anymore.”
Training coordinator Kate said she wants people to visit Rumbles because income is needed to keep the place going. “All the money we make goes back into training people who work here,” she said.
For more information phone 01623 424836 or visit www.rumbles.org.uk.