Charity takes over Portsmouth library cafe and offers work to people with learning disabilities

VISTORS to Portsmouth’s main library will be able to enjoy refreshments while helping a good cause as a charity has taken over the venue’s cafe.

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 11:39 am
Charity Minstead Trust has taken on the running of the Portsmouth Central Library café. Pictured: Chris Hillman, Training and Development Manager, Aimee Harvey, Café Supervisor, Chris Harvey, Senior Team Trainee, Charlotte Chivvers, Junior Manager, Matthew Rimmer, Graduate Apprentice and Sophie Emright, Café Manager.

Charity Minstead Trust has taken on the running of the Portsmouth Central Library café as a training enterprise for people with learning disabilities.

The trust will operate the café under the existing Lily & Lime name and will continue to provide event catering.

Dozens of people with learning disabilities will work in the café to learn skills that help them work towards paid employment.

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Minstead Trust is a Hampshire-based charity that supports more than 200 people with learning disabilities across Portsmouth and Hampshire. The Lily & Lime café joins other social enterprises run by the Trust that include Furzey Gardens in Minstead and Hanger Farm Arts Centre in Totton.

The transfer of the café to Minstead Trust was supported by Portsmouth City Council and the Portsmouth Library Service.

Lisa Lee, Minstead Trust’s regional director, said: ‘We are delighted to be working closely with the Portsmouth Central Library to provide its café offer to library visitors.

‘It is a wonderful opportunity for us to extend our commitment to providing workplace training opportunities for people with learning disabilities and to support them in finding paid employment in the city. Only six per cent of people with a learning disability are in paid employment. This is something we are determined to address, through our Step Up For Work programme and the new opportunities that the Liliy & Lime café brings.’

Cllr Chris Attwell, Portsmouth City Council's cabinet member for communities and central services, said: ‘It is fantastic news that Minstead Trust is able to continue Lily and Lime's good work. Not only is a much-loved addition to the facilities in the library it offer a host of opportunities to local people with learning disabilities giving them valuable skills, work experience and a platform to build from.’

Chris Hillman, Lily and Lime’s training and development manager, said: ‘I am delighted to have joined the Minstead Trust family. From the moment that we were introduced, it was clear that the trust holds the same core values and the same aspirations for our trainees. We feel that this new arrangement puts us in the best position to carry on the legacy that Lily and Lime’s founder Anita left for us.’

Minstead Trust operates an established day opportunities centre in Portsmouth, supporting up to 80 people a week to learn life skills. The charity has also recently taken on supported living houses in the city to help people with learning disabilities to live more independently.