- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Joyce Watson AM popped in for a cup of coffee at an Ammanford café to learn how the business is encouraging people with learning disabilities to thrive.
iSmooth Community Café was set up three years ago by Amman Valley Mencap to give individuals with a learning disability the opportunity to volunteer in a bustling café.
Mrs Watson was invited by Mencap to speak to staff and volunteers about how the social enterprise is making a positive difference to the lives of its services users and the wider community.
One of the café’s founders and current manager, Erica Walker, explained to the visiting AM how iSmooth works with various agencies including: Probation Services, Job Growth Wales, Carmarthenshire Council Social Care and Mencap.
Commenting on her visit, Mrs Watson said:
“Through the café and its core services, Amman Valley Mencap is doing fantastic work – supporting people with learning disabilities to gain skills and confidence, make new friends and find fulfilment.”
The Labour Mid and West AM’s visit coincided with Fairtrade Fortnight (23 Feb to 8 Mar), which the café promotes with its fairtrade produce.
Joyce Watson AM added:
“I was impressed not just by the quality of the coffee and cakes, but by the friendliness and efficiency of the service and by the comfortable and relaxing atmosphere.”
Last year the Welsh Government granted the social enterprise £4,000 for IT investment.